Skip to main content

Full text of "An inside view of the Vatican Council, in the speech of the Most Reverend Archbishop Kenrick of St. Louis"

See other formats

























Secrecy of Proceedings — Contradictory Statements- -A Decisive 
Document pages 5-13 


The "Liberal Catholic" Party— Its Principles and its Men — 
Speeches of Montalembert— The Absolutist Party— Its Princi- 
ples as denned by the Prince de Broglie— Encyclical "Quanta 
Cuba," and Syllabus - 14-49 



Hopeful Expectations of the Liberal Catholics— Packing of Pre- 
paratory Committees— Manipulating of Public Opinion— Plan 
of Acclamation — Publication of Janus — Muzzling of the Press at 
Rome — Gratry's Letters — Fatheb Hyacinthe's Pbotest- 50-60 


Modern Revolution in the Constitution of the Episcopate— Present 
Dependence of the Bishops on "the Nod" of the Pope— Insig- 
nificant Minority in the Church represented by an Overwhelm- 
ing Majority in the Council - 61-65 


First Code of Rules imposed on the Council— Second Code— Ex- 
tinction of Conciliar Liberty— Protest of the Minority- - 66-70 


First Schema submitted, attacked by Conolly and Strossmayer, 
and withdrawn — Schwarzenberg's Desires for Reformation — 



Strossmayer's Second Speech— Decree for Infallibility pro- 
posed — Great Speech of Strossmayeb — Immense Uproar — 
Deceitful Trick of the Managers — "Observations" of the 
Bishops — Decree passed by a Majority — Protest of the Mi- 
nority 71 -87 



[See Contents and Analysis on pp. 93, 91] 88-174 



Italian Origin of the Document— Relations of the Imposture to 
the Example and Moral Teachings of the Roman-catholic 
Church— The Pretended "Speech oar a Bishop in tiik Coun- 
cil m — No Papacy in the New Testament — Nor in Early Church 
History— la Peter the Rock ?— Former Popes Fallible— Peril of 
the Church 175 196 



The two Dogmatic Constitutions— Canons on the Catholic Faith— 
Constitution on the Church— Chapter III. : On the Power and 
Nature of the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff — Chapter 1Y. : 
Concerning the Infallible Teaching of the Roman Pontiff — 
Retroactive Effect of these Decrees — Former ex cathedra Teach- 
ings now declared Infallible— I. Bull, Unam Sanctam — II. Bull, 
Cum ex Apostolatus Officio — HI. Bull, In Ccena Domini— IV. En- 
cyclical, Quanta Cura, and Syllabus — Former Atrocities of Popes 
now justified — 196-215 



Temporary Distraction of Men's Minds from Religious Subjects — 
Measures of the Court of Rome for conciliating or whipping 
in the Minority — The Quinquennial Faculties — Father Hya- 
cinthe's Appeal to the Bishops — Dollinger's Letter to his 
Archbishop — Political Bearings of the Infallibility Decree — 
Declaration of Dollinger and his Associates — Anathema 
and Excommunication — Programme of the ANTi-lNFALLrBrLiTY 
League— The Conflict Begun - 216-250 





The Vatican Council of the year 1870, an event of in- 
terest to all, and especially to those of every Christian 
communion, who love the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus 
Christ on the earth, is nevertheless the one event of re- 
cent times, the history of which is most disputed and 
most studiously concealed from the knowledge of the 

The Council was organized as a "secret society." At 
the opening of it an awful obligation was imposed, un- 
der severe penalty, " subpcena gram," on all its members, 
binding them to absolute secrecy in everything pertain- 
ing to the Council. The members were not allowed to 
communicate even with each other in print. Meetings 
for consultation of members speaking the same lan- 
guage, were interdicted. Owing to the extraordinary 
acoustical properties of the hall of the Council, it was 
rare that the transactions were heard, except by a small 


part of the members. The stenographic reports of daily 
proceedings, transacted in an unfamiliar language, were 
not printed, nor otherwise submitted to the members 
of the Council, whether for their information or for the 
correction of the record.* 

In view of these facts, the bitter complaints of the 
bishops belonging to the majority, and in particular of 
Archbishop Manning, of Westminster, f of the incorrect- 
ness of the published accounts of the assembly. 
actually childish. To stimulate public curiosity and 
interest by every device of advertising — by announce- 
ments and manifestoes, by parades, processions, cos- 
tumes, tableaux, and fireworks, attracting a crowd from 
every part of the world to the doors of the Council, and 
then complain that the event was reported in the news- 
papers ; to lock the doors in the face of the public and 
shut off access to information by oaths of secrecy, and 
then complain that the reports are not exacts— is " like 
children crying in the market-place." If they wanted 
no reports, why all this advertising of a free show of 
parades, pantomimes, and pyrotechny to gather the 
loungers of two hemispheres in the piazza of St. Peter's ? 
Why not go quietly about their business, and have done 
with it ? If they wanted to be correctly reported, why 
not admit witnesses, or remove the seal of secrecy ? The 

* Ce qui se passe an Concile, 48, 59, 62. The trustworthiness of is disputed by interested parties, and indorsed by others. 
The above statements, however, as well as most other statements 
made in it, do not depend on the authority of the writer, but are 
sustained by reference to unimpeachable authorities. 

t See his Pastoral, "The Vatican Council," pp. 1-33. Petri 
Privilegium, 3. One of the last acts of the Council was to adopt 
a violent protest against the reports in circulation concerning its 
doings. Ibid. 181. This protest, says Dr. Manning, was adopted 
"by an immense majority :" implying that a minority more or less 
considerable declined to impugn the correctness of the reports. 


conclusion is inevitable : what the managers of the 
Council wanted was to be incorrectly reported. The 
thing which they had taken pains to secure was the 
wide circulation of partial information about their pro- 
ceedings. The thing which they had studied to prevent 
was the statement of the whole tr^uth. 

And yet, in the sweeping denunciation of all reports, 
of the Council as utterly untrustworthy and misleading, 
is to be remarked one significant exception. While the 
correspondence of the British newspapers is declared 
to be simply imaginative, founded on no authentic 
knowledge of the facts whatever, it is confessed that 
" the journals of Catholic countries," and especially the 
Augsburg Gazette, " understood what they were pervert- 
ing ; and that they had obtained their knowledge from 
sources which could only have been opened to them by 
violation of duty."* By this admission, the defenders 
of the Council against the charges of contemporaneous 
history waive the claim of superior knowledge, and re- 
solve the question at issue into a simple question of 
veracity between themselves and certain of their col- 
leagues and associates. The number of the witnesses 
is understood to be "by an immense majority" in favor 
of the Council. But the weight of their testimony is 
inevitably affected by the two facts : first, that interests 
which they deem infinite are pending on their being be- 
lieved ; and secondly, that authority which they hold 
to be infallible justifies them in acts of deception for 
the advantage of the Church, f 

* Archbishop Manning, of Westminster, Petri Privilegium, 3, 
pp. 2, 4. 

f S. Alphonsi de Lig. Compend. Theologice Moralis, auct. Ney- 
raguet, 141. "Z>e cequivocatione ." It is certified by the pope, 
ex cathedra, that the writings of this saint contain nothing contrary 
to sound doctrine. The distinguished Father Newman has, in his 


Having these considerations in view, we may fairly 
weigh the various external testimonies to the character 
of the Vatican Council. These may be represented on 
the one side by two famous volumes " Ce qui se passe 
au Concile,"* (Doings in the Council,) and the "Letters 
of Quirinus ;"f on tliQ other side by the pastoral letter 
of Archbishop Manning, one of the ablest leaders of the 
majority of the Council. J 

The former are lull and detailed histories, not impar- 
tial indeed, but accurate and exact for the most part, in 
speaking of matters on which we have the means i >! 
ingthem, and affording thus a fair presumption in their 
favor as to matters on which the more than Masonic 
secrecy of the Council refuses us access to testimony. 
They show, citing authority wherever it is possible, that 
the Council was deprived of the freedom of originating 
measures and of consultation and discussion upon those 
measures which had been secretly prepared in advance, 
and enforced upon the Council ; that in many ways un- 
precedented in such bodies, the power of the poj:>e was 
brought to bear, both upon the Council as a whole and 
upon its individual members, so depriving it of the lib- 
erty which, according to the traditions of the Roman- 
catholic church, is essential to the authority of a gen- 

Apohgia pro Vita Sua, frankly purged himself, personally, of com- 
plicity with such morality. But this is not sufficient to protect his 
fellow-ecclesiastics from the irresistible inference that what they 
are required to accept as doctrine will be put in practice by tin im 
when occasion demands. 

* Published by Henri Hon, Paris, 1870. It is greatly to be re- 
gretted that no translation of this work is extant in English. 

f Kivingtons, London. Pott, Young & Co, , New York. 

X Petri Privilegium : Three Pastoral Letters to the Clergy of the 
Diocese, 1867-1871. By Henry Edward. Archbishop of Westmin- 
ster. London: Longmans. 


eral council : and that at the same time, by processes 
utterly foreign to the genius and antecedents of that 
church, an outside pressure had been created by the 
systematic arts of the Jesuits and other orders cen- 
tering at Rome, the lower orders of clergy and the 
laity having been stirred up to affect and control the 
votes of the bishops set over them. Furthermore, the 
statements of these books concur with each other and 
with the common course of public report, in represent- 
ing that within the council-chamber the course of the 
majority towards the minority was in like manner domi- 
neering and tyrannical, and that the attempt of certain 
bold speakers of the minority to compel a hearing gave 
rise to scenes of outrageous disorder and confusion ; 
finally, that the result sought by the papal court and 
the subservient majority was reached only by the sud- 
den and peremptory shutting off of debate on the main 

Against these statements, made in the most circum- 
stantial manner, by persons admitted by their oppo- 
nents to have had access to the facts, the defence set 
up is a sweeping negative and a general denunciation 
of "all such things as have been uttered in the afore- 
said newspapers and pamphlets, as altogether false and 
calumnious, whether in contempt of our holy father 
and of the apostolic see, or to the dishonor of this holy 
synod, and on the score of its asserted want of legiti- 
mate liberty."* Archbishop Manning declares, with 
many bitter words concerning gainsay ers, that, "set- 
ting aside this one question of opportuneness, there 
was not in the Council of the Vatican a difference of 
any gravity, and certainly no difference vlmtsoever on any 

* Protest of the Council, signed by the cardinals president, 
Petri Privilegium, 3. 34. 181. 



doctrine of faith." " Never was there a greater unanim- 
ity than in the Vatican Council." " I have never seen 
such calmness, self-respect, mutual forbearance, cour- 
tesy, and self-control as in the eighty-nine sessions of 
the Vatican Council." " Occasionally murmurs of dis- 
sent were audible ; now and then a comment may have 
been made aloud. In a very few instances, and those 
happily of an exceptional kind, expressions of strong dis- 
approval and of exhausted patience at length escaped. 
But the descriptions of violence, outcries, menace, de- 
nunciation, and even of personal collisions, with which 
certain newspapers deceived the world, I can affirm to 
be calumnious falsehoods, fabricated to bring the Coun- 
cil into odium and contempt."* 

* Petri Prtotoghan, 3. 26-28. 

The writer proceeds to denounce as sheer, deliberate fabrica- 
tion, the representation of the Council as a "scene of indecent 
clamor and personal violence, unworthy even in laymen, criminal 
in bishops of the church ;" and to deny "that a tyrannical major- 
ity deprived the minority of liberty of discussion." These expres- 
sions receive great light from the speech of Archbishop Kenrick in 
this volume. The form of expression, " lean affirm" etc., is wor- 
thy of notice, in view of the approved principle of Roman-catholic 
morals thus stated by St. Alphonsus de Liguori: "If a man is 
asked about something which it is his interest to conceal, he can 
answer, No, I say : that is, / say the icord No. Cardenas doubts 
about this ; but saving his better counsel, he seems to do so with- 
out reason, for the word I say really has two senses ; it means to 
utter and to assent. We here employ it in the sense of utter. " Theol. 
Moralis, 4. 151. A full exhibit of the teaching of this approved 
and authorized treatise of St. Alphonsus on this point may be 
found in Meyrick's "Moral Theology of the Church of Rome," 
republished with an introduction by the Rev. A. C. Coxe, Balti- 
more, 1856. 

Archbishop Manning is believed by those who know him to be 
a man whose natural generosity and dignity of character would 
restrain him from such subterfuge. It is all the more important 
to be assured of this, as it becomes manifest that the religious 
teachings which he is required to accept do not so restrain him, 


In view of these flat contradictions and mutual im- 
peachments of veracity, it becomes most desirable, in 
order to come at the true history of the Council, to find 
some witness or document of decisive authority. The 
shorthand reports of its transactions and debates (if 
such speech-making as was permissible under the ex- 
traordinary rules imposed upon the Council by the pope 
may be called debate) are secreted in its archives, to 
be — not quoted, but mysteriously alluded to as some- 
thing that ivould be very decisive if it were allowed to 
quote them.* The lips of the multitude of witnesses 
are sealed with bonds of secrecy, which can be relaxed 
only by the dispensing authority of the pope, and will 
therefore be relaxed only in favor of the pope's own 
party ; so that "the bishops of the minority are bound 
to secrecy for all their lives, and the history will never 
be written except by those whose passions have precip- 
itated the issue." f 

One document, however, of remarkable character 
and unimpeachable authenticity, has providentially 
escaped from the secrecy that has been wrapped around 
most of the doings of the Council. It is from the pen 
of the ablest of the American bishops — Archbishop 
Kenrick of St. Louis. It was not intended to be seen 
by the public, much less by the Protestant public ; but 
was prepared, first, to be spoken in the secret assem- 
bly ; and when that was prevented by the sudden and 

but have, in fact, the contrary tendency. What can we believe 
from men who, on the question in hand, stand confessed before 
the public as being forbidden to tell the truth, under the most awful 
sanctions, and as having a standing license to deceive the public 
"for a good reason" — "and any honest object, such as keeping 
our goods, spiritual or temporal, is a good reason. " 
• * Petri Privilegium, 3. 32. 

f Cfe <7"> sc passe an Concile, p. G2. 


unanticipated shutting off of debate, was printed, still 
in the Latin language, for private circulation among 
the bishops of the Council. Its testimony on the ques- 
tions of fact now in dispute before the public is entirely 
incidental, being in the form of allusions to facts of 
which the persons to whom it was addressed had been 
eye-and-ear witnesses. For this reason, its testimony 
is all the more impressive — is, in fact, decisive. It is 
possible to imagine one of the members of the Council, 
at a distance, in time and space, from the events of 
which he speaks, under the excitement of public dis- 
cussion, under the inlluence of a most unhappy system 
of perverted morality commended to him by "infalli- 
ble" authority, in the presence of readers who have no 
means of testing his statements, to make sweeping gen- 
eral assertions not corresponding with the truth. But 
it is not possible to imagine one of the members of the 
Council laying in print, privately, under the eyes of his 
colleagues, detailed statements or distinct and circum- 
stantial allusions which they personally knew to be false. 
What bearing, then, has this decisive document on 
the questions of fact at issue between the bishops of 
the majority as represented by Archbishop Manning, 
and those of the minority as represented in the "Let- 
ters of Quirinus," and in " Ce qui se passe an Concilet" 
The question is one of so much moment to a large part 
of the religious world, that the entire pamphlet of Arch- 
bishop Kenrick is now for the first time laid before the 
public, in this volume,* that every one may decide for 

* We had translated this speech from the private edition print- 
ed at Naples for circulation in the Council. But since this work 
was commenced, a copy has reached us of the " Documenia ad 
UJustrandum Concilium Vaticanum," published at Nordlingen by s 
Professor Friedrich of Munich, which contains Kenrick's speech, 


himself. It is sufficient for the immediate purpose of 
this Introduction to say that on all those points (and 
they are many) of disputed fact between these parties, 
on which it gives light, it discredits the declarations of 
the archbishop of Westminster and the solemn protest 
of the majority of the Council, and approves the sub- 
stantial accuracy of the writings which they denounce 
as mendacious. 

This point being established, we may proceed with 
more confidence in our brief history. 

in Latin, together with other documents of the interior history of 
the Council, which tend still further to confirm all the allegations 
hitherto made of the oppression of the Council by the court of 
Rome, and of its entire lack of that liberty which, according to 
the traditions of the Roman-catholic church itself, is essential to 
the authority of an (Ecumenical Council. 

Only the first part of this important work is yet published. 
It contains : 

1. The pamphlet on infallibility distributed in the Council by 
Bp. Ketteler, of Mayence, entitled Qucestio. 

2. "La Liberti du Concile et V Infaillibiliti" by one of the high- 
est ecclesiastics of France, printed about June 1, 1870, to the num- 
ber of only 50 copies, for distribution to the Cardinals exclusively. 

3. The Speech of Archbishop Kenrick. 

4. Eight Protests by bishops of the minority, presented at dif- 
ferent times in the Council. 

5. The Order and Mode of proceedings in the Council of Trent. 
G. Correspondence between Cardinals Schwarzenberg and An- 

tonelli ; and the former's " Desideria patribus Concilii (Ecumenlci 
proponenda. " 

7. A Dissertation (in French) on a point of casuistry on which the 
writer seeks relief, at the hands of the Council, from the common 
rules imposed by Romish wri'ers of Moral Theology. 



By one of the leading spirits of the Council it has 
been emphatically denied that "its one object was to 
define the infallibility of the pope."* And justly ; for 
the definition of infallibility was obviously not so much 
an end, as the means to an end. What was the defi- 
nite purpose in the minds of those who projected and 
controlled the Council was for a long time concealed 
from the knowledge of the public, and even of the 
bishops of whom the Council was to be composed. The 
Bull of Indiction of June 29, 18G8, dealt in the va 
generalities of promised blessings to the church and 
the world. It was not long before simultaneous opera- 
tions in all quarters, directed from a common centre, 
for the creation of a factitious public sentiment in favor 
of the notion of the infallibility of the pope, confirmed 
in the minds of that party in the church whose over- 
throw was contemplated, their suspicions of the real 
object of the convocation. Since the close of the 
Council all disguise has been dropped, and the tri- 
umphant majority acknowledges that the object all 
along has been to crush the "Liberal Catholic" party 
in the Roman-catholic church.")* 

AVhat is, or was, the Liberal Catholic party? It 

* Petri PrivUegium, 3. 34. 

f See (out of many examples) the Catholic World for August, 
1871, in an article on "Infallibility." It alleges as the present 
reason for the definition of the new dogma that ' ' numbers of good 
and loyal Catholics were beginning to go astray after a so-called 
Catholic liberalism, and a clique of secret traitors was plotting a 


may be described as the fruit of that revival of religion 
in the Eoman-catholic church of Europe, and espe- 
cially of France, which followed the transient stupor in 
which that church was left by the shock of the French 
Revolution. It was led by certain men whose noble- 
ness and purity of character, whose single-minded zeal 
for truth and righteousness, and whose unfeigned affec- 
tion towards the Roman-catholic church, (which, to 
their minds, represented the kingdom of Christ upon 
earth,) none but the most audacious partisans have 
ever dared to question. Such a one, in statesmanship 
and literature, was the late Count de Montalembert : 
such, in the pulpit, were Lacordaire and Hyacinthe ; 
and in the domain of theology, such was the foremost 
scholar of the Roman church, the illustrious Dollinger. 
The eulogists of Rome had no prouder names than 
these to boast in all their prodigious roll. 

What made these men liberals in the Catholic 
church was their serious, earnest apprehension of the 
fact — so painful, yet so prevalent throughout Roman- 
catholic countries — of the alienation of the great mass 
of thoughtful men from the only form of Christianity 
which they know.* It seemed to them a fact of sad 
and fearful significance, that all the interests of liberty 
and social improvement should have been unnaturally 

revolt against the holy see, disguised under the ambiguities and 
reservations of Gallicanism, " p. 593. The significance of this 
allegation cannot be fully appreciated without considering that 
for several years the Catholic World had been diligently commend- 
ing the men and the principles of the Liberal Catholic party to the 
American public, as representing the real liberality of the Eoman- 
catholic church, and its accordance with free government and 
American sentiment. 

* See the confession of Cardinal Schwarzenberg, in his ' ' Besi- 
deria Patribus Concilii (Ecumemci proponenda," in Doc. ad Ulustr. 
Gone. Vat, p. 285. 


divorced from the gospel ; and that the church of 
Christ should have come to be identified, by its minis- 
ters and by the mass of the public, with abhorred sys- 
tems of civil and religious despotism, with the obso 
lete horrors of the Inquisition and the dragonnades, 
and with Certain modern abuses and corruptions which 
seemed to them to have no necessary connection with 
the church upon which they had fastened themselves. 
The voices of these eloquent and earnest men. as they 
sounded forth from the press. i*r«»m the rostrum, and 
from the historic pulpit of Notre Dame, while they 
bore brave witness lor God and Christ and duty, were 
affected with something of human and Christlike sym- 
pathy with the ills and the aspirations of the society 
in which they lived. "Their voiee was to the sons of 

men." It seemed a strange thing to hear from under 

the Dominican or Carmelite frock any word of gener- 
ous sympathy towards those who were seeking, even in 
a wandering and hopeless way, for liberty and 
improvement— any assurance that Christianity and the 
church were not necessarily committed to the side of 
despotism and public ignorance, of religious persecu- 
tion, the oppression of the conscience, the muzzling of 
the press, the gagging of public speech. There was a 
power in such utterances from the lips of Lacordaire 
and Hyacinthe, which not even the matchless splendor 
of their rhetoric could account for. The people who 
had learned to regard the church and clergy as their 
natural enemies, came in vast throngs about the pul- 
pit of Notre Dame, eager to listen to a gospel which, 
while it rebuked and refuted their errors, and had no 
tolerance for their vices, nevertheless refused to ally 
itself with the advocates of hereditary tyranny, or with 
the apologists of obsolete cruelty. 


The three characteristic aims of the Liberal Catho- 
lic party can hardly be better defined than in the terms 
in which the illustrious Hyacinthe summed up the ten- 
dencies of his own preaching : 

1. The reconciliation of the Roman-catholic church 
with modern society. 

2. Not by compromise of convictions, but by points 
of common belief and practice, and by the spirit of 
charity, to draw together the various communions of 
Christian believers ; emphasizing the doctrine of "the 
soul of the church,"* which includes all holy and be- 
lieving souls, as distinguished from the body or corpo- 
ration of the church, which "holds many of the wolves 
within its fold, and keeps many of the lambs with- 
out, "f 

3. To endeavor to bring back the Roman-catholic 
church toward the spirit of its early days. J 

These liberal sentiments were associated, neverthe- 
less, not only with Christian faith, but with a most 
hearty and loyal affection towards the Roman-catho- 
lic church, its theology and government. The liberal 
party was far removed from sympathy with that " Gal- 
licanism " which would limit the authority of the 
church, in its proper sphere, by the interference of any 
political power whatever. That famous maxim of 
Cavour, which is but the condensed expression of the 
universal American sentiment, "A free church in a 
free state," was an echo from the lips of Montalem- 

And yet so ardent was the loyalty of this band of fer- 
vid Catholics towards the see and the person of the 

* St. Augustine. f Idem. 

X Father Hyacinthe's Discourses, vol. 1, p. 37. Putnam Sc 



pope, that they braved the reproach of inconsistency 
that they might maintain with tongue and pen and 
sword that petty principality of the Roman state which 
both in theory and in administration was the most abso- 
lute contradiction to all their principles. It was due to 
Montalembert and his associates that the temporal 
power of the pope was restored to him by the arms of 
France, after its overthrow in 1848 : it was due to the 
same party that when later the same temporal power was 
threatened with something more formidable than rev- 
olution — with bankruptcy — the contribution of Peter's 
pence was organized which stayed the doomed and tot- 
tering throne a few brief seasons longer. 

Notwithstanding the fervent devotion of the Liberal 

Catholics to the Church of Rome, which they dncerery 

held to be the embodiment <>t' the kingdom <>i' Christ 
on the earth ; notwithstanding the fact that within their 
slender number they embraced the most illustrious 
names of contemporary Catholicism ; notwithstanding 
the eminent services which they had rendered to the 
pope and see of Rome ; it was impossible for their 
principles of civil and religious liberty to be conspicu- 
ously taught in a Roman-catholic country, without 
drawing fort^i against them the outcries and the organiz- 
ed opposition of the hierarchy and of the religious orders. 
It is difficult for us in America to comprehend the 
indignation which was roused, throughout the Roman- 
catholic hierarchy, by the enunciation in a "Catholic 
Congress," by a French nobleman, of doctrines of the 
rights and dignity of conscience, of religious liberty, 
of hatred to persecution and the Inquisition, which are 
familiar to American citizens as axioms of universal ac- 
ceptation. The words of Montalembert in an assembly 
of Catholics at Malines were these : 


" Of all liberties which I have undertaken to defend, 
the most precious in my view, the most sacred, the most 
legitimate, the most necessary, is liberty of conscience. 
.... I must confess that this enthusiastic devotion 
of mine to religious liberty is not general among Cath- 
olics. They are very fond of it for themselves — which 
is no great merit. Generally speaking, everybody likes 
every sort of liberty for himself. But religious liberty 
for its own sake, the liberty of other men's consciences, 
the liberty of that worship which men denounce and 
repudiate — this is what disturbs and enrages many of 

us Are we at liberty, now-a-days, to demand 

liberty for the truth — that is, for ourselves (for every 
honest man believes what he holds to be the truth) and 
refuse it to error — that is, to persons who differ from us ? 

I answer flatly, No I feel an invincible horror 

at all punishments and all violences inflicted on man- 
kind under pretence of serving or defending religion. 
The fagots lighted by the hands of Catholics are as hor- 
rible to me as the scaffolds on which Protestants have 
immolated so many martyrs. The gag in the mouth of 
any sincere preacher of his own faith, I feel as if it were 
between my own lips, and it makes me shudder with 

In the United States it was possible for such senti- 
ments from Roman-catholic presses or platforms to 
pass without official rebuke, or even to stand unchal- 
lenged, and be ostentatiously put forward as the accept- 
ed doctrine of the Church of Rome. But in countries 
where opinion was divided, where great political inter- 

* The entire passage, which is full of genuine eloquence, is 
quoted in De Pressense's article on Parties in the Catholic Church 
in France, appended to volume I. of the Discourses of Father Hya- 


ests involved in the maintenance of th< doc- 

trines of absolutism and persecution, were wont to count 
on the undivided support of the Romish hierarchy, it 
was not possible. The most that the Roman-catholic 
friends of civil and religions liberty in Europe could 
have hoped, for their opinions, was that they should be 
tolerated. But even this hope was disappointed. 41 

* We have given above the position of the Liberal Catholic par- 
Lefined by themselves, it is well to add their account 
position of the opposite party, as briefly summed up in an article 
in the Gorrespondant, a few years since, by the Prince de Broglie. 

According to him the position of the ultramontane party is. "that 
the Church is the declared enemy (1) of hnm . (2) of 

modern soc'n ty. (3) of religious liberty, (I) of political liberty." 

1. Enmity to Human Reason. " This enmity docs not display 
itself merely by the tone of detraction and irony with which it 
pursues all the efforts and acts of human reason, by its shouts of 
triumph on every occasion when reason stumbles and goes wrong. 

There are besides whole systems of philosophy connected, which 
.stop short of nothing less than denying reason the faculty of investi- 
gating even a shadow of truth without the aid of faith; and these arc 
Bystems around which ultramontanism throws all its credit and affec- 
tion. In a word, whenever these new champions of the church 
of reason, one would say that they saw passing before their i 
enemy whom they menace with every hostile look and gesture, and 
upon whom they are ever ready to precipitate themselves headlong." 

2. Enmity to Modem Society. — "The same doctrines which in- 
culcate enmity to human reason, profess unmitigated hostility to 
the constitution of modern society as based on that reason. No 
one can therefore flatter himself that he can remain a member of 
the spiritual communion of Christians, and of temporal sod 

at present constituted in France, on the principles of 17S9 ; And 
this hostility between modern society and the church, so eagerly 
pointed out and insisted on by the infidel, the party we speak of 
accepts without the smallest hesitation, in all its bearings, and fol- 
lows out into all its applications. In its eyes, all modern society 
comes excommunicated into the world — no baptism can wash away 
the stain on its first origin. All is bad, anti-Christian, anti-Catho- 
lic, in the principles of modern society." 

3. Enmity to Religious Liberty. — "In all that infidelity has repeat- 
ed on the subject, I do not remember ever to have met with any- 


The speeches of Montalembert at Malines were pro- 
nounced in August, 1863. On the 8th of December, 
1864, was issued from the Vatican the Encyclical Let- 
ter entitled " Quanta Cura" to which was appended the 
famous " Syllabus" of propositions condemned by Pope 
Pius IX. in various pontifical documents. In its terms, 
this edict applies to all liberal thought and opinion hi 

thing so precisely and accurately laid down, as what we may now 
read every day in the columns of the contemporary religious press. 
It has cut short all debate by a summary process, and has declared 
dogmatically civil intolerance to be an article of faith for every 
Catholic, and religious liberty to be heresy. The church chastises 
heretics by force, when she can — where she can — as much as she 
can. If she tolerates them anywhere, it is as one tolerates a 
necessary evil, with the intention only of freeing oneself from it on 
the first opportunity ; but she never can accept religious liberty as 
a principle of Christian duty. Intolerance is her right the mo- 
ment it becomes possible. No lapse of time can raise prescription 
against her — no promise bind her ; witness Louis XIV. and the 
edict of Nantes. Such is the theory we may now see every day 
professed by these religious controversialists. " 

4. Enmity to Political Liberty. — "A stale calumny, which infi- 
delity itself blushed for, and now only ventured to whisper, con- 
sisted in representing the church as the natural ally of tyranny and 

the born adversary of all public liberty The new style of 

religious controversy of which we speak has resuscitated it, and in 
our. day of storms and disaster, hastened voluntarily to proclaim a 
solemn divorce between religion and national liberty Ultra- 
montane controversy has excommunicated liberty from the tribu- 
nal of religion herself, has preached absolute power as a dogma, 
has equally proscribed every guarantee of individual and civil lib- 
erty as the fruit of human pride, and abandoned every restriction 
preservative of public right. " 

Allowance may be made for this statement of the questions at 
issue, as proceeding from one of the parties to the controversj 7 . 
But the manifesto of the opposite party, in the "Encyclical and 
Syllabus," substantially accepts this statement. The issue made 
up between the two parties, to be tried in general council, was 
whether those sentiments which are the universal sentiments of 
American society and American Christianity are to be tolerated 
within the pale of the Roman-catholic church. 


all parts of the world. It condemns ull those convic- 
tions concerning human rights and duties which under- 
lie the best results of modern civilization, and which are 
incorporated with all the habits of American thought 
and the fabric of American government. But the time 
of its issue; and the forms of expression used in it made 
it clear to men of every party that it was aimed at the 
Liberal party in the Catholic church. • 

It was unfortunate that a document in which the 
American people have so practical an interest should 
have been published at a time when all our minds were 
absorbed in the pending question of our national exist- 
ence. If it had been issued in a time of peace and 
quiet, its astounding enunciations would have produced 
a wholesome shock upon the public mind. But amid 
the excitements of that critical period, it slipped into 
its place among the documents of past history, with so 
little attention from the community that it is important 
for us to reproduce it here. 


To Our Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, 
and Bishops of the Universal Church having Grace and Com- 
munion of the Apostolic See, 



It is well known unto all men, and especially to you, 
venerable brethren, with what great care and pastoral 
vigilance our predecessors, the Roman pontiffs, have 
discharged the office intrusted by Christ our Lord to 
them in the person of the most blessed Peter, prince of 
the apostles, and have unremittingly discharged the 
duty of feeding the lambs and sheep, and have dili- 
gently nourished the Lord's entire flock with the words 


of faith, imbued it with salutary doctrine, and guarded 
it from poisoned pastures. And those, our predeces- 
sors, who were the assertors and champions of the 
august Catholic religion, truth and justice, being as they 
were chiefly solicitous for the salvation of souls, held 
nothing to be of so great importance as the duty of 
exposing and condemning, in their most wise letters and 
constitutions, all heresies and errors which are hostile 
to moral honesty and to the eternal salvation of man- 
kind, and which have frequently stirred up terrible com- 
motions and have damaged both the Christian and civil 
commonwealths in a disastrous manner. "Wherefore 
those our predecessors have, with apostolic fortitude, 
continually resisted the nefarious attempts of unjust 
men, who, like raging waves of the sea foaming forth 
their own confusion and promising liberty whilst they 
are the slaves of corruption, endeavored by their false 
opinions and most pernicious writings to overthrow 
the foundations of the Catholic religion and of civil 
society, to abolish all virtue and justice, to deprave 
the souls and minds of all men, and especially to per- 
vert inexperienced youth from uprightness of morals, to 
corrupt them miserably, to lead them into snares of 
error, and finally to tear them from the bosom of the 
Catholic church. 

And now, venerable brethren, as is also very well 
known to you — scarcely had we (by the secret dispensa- 
tion of Divine Providence, certainly by no merit of our 
own) been called to this chair of Peter, when we, to the 
extreme grief of our soul, beheld a horrible tempest 
stirred up by so many erroneous opinions, and the 
dreadful, and never-enough-to-be-lamented mischiefs 
which redound to Christian people from such errors : 
and we then, in discharge of our apostolic ministerial 


office, imitating the example of our illustrious prede- 
cessors, raised our voice, and in several published encyc- 
lical letters, and in allocutions delivered in cons: 
and in other apostolical ndemned the prom- 

inent, most grievOUfl errors of the age, and avc stirred 
ii]> your excellent episcopal vigilance, and again and 
again did we admonish and exhort all the sons of the 
Catholic church, who are most dear to us, that they 
should abhor and shun all the said errors as they would 
the contagion of a fatal pestilence. Especially in our 
first encyclical letter, written to you on the !»th of No- 
vember, anno 1846, and in two allocutions, one of which 
was delivered by us in consistory on the 9th of 1>> 
her, anno 186 I. and the other on the 9th of June, anno 

1862, we condemned the monstrous and portentous opin- 
ions which prevail especially in the present age to the 

very great loss of souls, and even to the detriment of civil 
society ; and which are in the highest degree hostile, 
not only to the Catholic church and to her salutary doc- 
trine and venerable laws, bat also to the everlasting law r 
of nature engraven by (xod upon the hearts of all men, 
and to right reason ; and out of which almost all other 
errors originate. 

Now although hitherto we have not omitted to de- 
nounce and reprove the chief errors of this kind, yet 
the cause of the Catholic church and the salvation of 
souls committed to us by God, and even the interests 
of human society, absolutely demand, that once again 
we should stir up your pastoral solicitude to drive away 
other erroneous opinions which flow r from those errors 
above specified, as their source. These false and per- 
verse opinions are so much the more detestable by how 
much they have chiefly for their object to hinder and 
banish that salutary influence which the Catholic church, 


by the institution and command of her Divine Author, 
ought freely to exercise, even to the consummation of the 
world, oyer not only individual men but nations, peo- 
ples, and sovereigns — and to abolish that mutual coop- 
eration and agreement of counsels between the priest- 
hood and governments which has always been propi- 
tious and conducive to the welfare both of church and 
state. (Gregory XVI. Encyclical, 13th August, 1832.) 
You are well aware that at this time, there are not a 
few who apply to civil society the impious and absurd 
principle of naturalism, as they term it, and dare to teach 
that " the welfare of the state and political and social 
progress require that human society should be consti- 
tuted and governed irrespective of religion, which is to 
be treated just as if it did not exist, or as if no real dif- 
ference existed between true and false religions." Con- 
trary to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, of the 
church, and of the holy fathers, these persons do not 
hesitate to assert that " the best condition of human 
society is that wherein no duty is recognized by the 
government of correcting by enacted penalties the vio- 
lators of the Catholic religion, except when the main- 
tenance of the public peace requires it." From this 
totally false notion of social government, they fear not 
to uphold that erroneous opinion most pernicious to 
the Catholic church and to the salvation of souls, which 
was called by our predecessor Gregory XVI, above 
quoted, the insanity, (Encycl., 13th August, 1832,) (deli- 
ramentum,) namely, that "liberty of conscience and of 
worship is the right of every man ; and that this right 
ought, in every well-governed state, to be proclaimed 
and asserted by the law ; and that the citizens possess 
the right of being unrestrained in the exercise of every 
kind of liberty, by any law, ecclesiastical or civil, so that 

V.iti.Hii Council. ._ 


they are authorized to publish and put forward openly, 
all their ideas whatsoever, either by speaking, in print, 
or by any other method." But whilst these men make 
these rash assertions, they do not reflect or consider 
that they preach the liberty of perdition, (St. Augustine, 
Epistle 10.*), al. 1G(>,) and that, "if it is always five to 
human arguments to discuss, men will never be want- 
ing who will dare to resist the truth, and to rely upon 
the loquacity of human wisdom, when we know from 
the command of our Lord Jesus Christ how faith and 
Christian wisdom ought to avoid this most mischievous 
vanity." (St. Leo, Epistle 164, al. 133, sec. 2, Boll ed. | 
And since religion has been banished from civil gov- 
ernment; since the teaching and authority of divine 
revelation have been repudiated, the idea inseparable 
therefrom of justice and human right is obscured by 
darkness and lost, and in place of true justice and legit- 
imate right material force is substituted, whence it ap- 
pears why some, entirely neglecting and slighting the 
most certain principles of sound reason, dare to pro- 
claim "that the will of the people, manifested by pub- 
lic opinion, (as they call it,) or by other means, consti- 
tutes a supreme law independent of all divine and 
human right ; and that, in the political order, accom- 
plished facts, by the mere met of their having been 
accomplished, have the force of right." But who does 
not plainly see and understand that human society, 
released from the ties of religion and true justice, can 
have no other purpose than to compass its own ends, 
and to amass riches, and can follow no other law in its 
actions than the indomitable wickedness of a heart given 
up to the service of its selfish pleasures and interests ? 
For this reason also these same men persecute with such 
bitter hatred the religious Orders who have deserved so 


well of religion, civil society, and letters ; they loudly 
declare that the Orders have no right to exist, and, in 
so doing, make common cause with the falsehoods of 
the heretics. For, as was most wisely taught by our 
predecessor of illustrious memory, Pius VI., "the abo- 
lition of religious Orders injures the state of public pro- 
fession of the evangelical counsels; injures a mode of life 
recommended by the church as in conformity with apos- 
tolical doctrine ; does wrong to the illustrious founders 
whom we venerate upon our altars, and who constituted 
these societies under the inspiration of God." (Epistle 
to Cardinal de la Kochefoucauld, March 10, 1791.) 

And these same persons also impiously pretend that 
citizens should be deprived of the liberty of publicly 
bestowing on the church their alms for the sake of 
Christian charity, and that the law forbidding "ser- 
vile labor on account of divine worship " upon certain 
fixed days should be abolished upon the most fallacious 
pretext that such liberty and such law are contrary to 
the principles of political economy. Not content with 
abolishing religion in public society, they desire further 
to banish it from families and private life. Teaching 
and professing those most fatal errors of socialism and 
communism, they declare that " domestic society or the 
family derives all its reason of existence solely from civil 
law, whence it is to be concluded that from civil law de- 
scend and depend all the rights of parents over their 
children, and, above all, the right of instructing and 
educating them. " By such impious opinions and machi- 
nations do these most false teachers endeavor to elimi- 
nate the salutary teaching and influence of the Catholic 
church from the instruction and education of youth, 
and to miserably infect and deprave by every pernicious 
error and vice the tender and pliant minds of youth. 


All those who endeavor to throw into confusion both 
religious and political affairs. to destroy the good order 
of society, and to annihilate all divine and human rights, 
have always exerted all their criminal schemes, atten- 
tion, and efforts apon the manner in which they might, 
above all. deprave and delude unthinking youth, as we 

have already shown : it is upon the corruption of youth 
that they place all their hopes. Thus they never cease 

to attack by every method the clergy, both secular and 
regular, from whom, as testify to us in so conspicuous 

a manner the mosl certain records of history, such con- 
siderable benefits have been bestowed in abundance 

upon Christian and civil society and upon the republic 

of Letters ; asserting of the clergy in general, that they 

are the enemies of the useful sciences, of progress, and 

of civilization, and that they ought to be deprived of 
all participation in the work of teaching and training 
the young. 

Others, reviving the depraving fictions of innova- 
tors, errors many times condemned, presume with ex- 
traordinary impudence, to subordinate the authority of 
the church and of this apostolic see, conferred upon it 
by Christ our Lord, to the judgment of civil authority, 
and to deny all the rights of this same church and this 
see with regard to those things which appertain to the 
secular order. For these persons do not blush to affirm 
" that the laws of the church do not bind the conscience 
if they are not promulgated by the civil power ; that 
the acts and decrees of the Roman pontiffs concerning 
religion and the church require the sanction and appro- 
bation, or at least the assent, of the civil power ; and 
that the apostolic constitutions (Clement XII., Bene- 
dict XXV., Pius VII., Leo XII.) condemning secret so- 
cieties, whether these exact or do not exact an oath of 


secrecy, and branding with anathema their followers and 
partisans, have no force in those countries of the world 
where such associations are tolerated by the civil gov- 
ernment." It is likewise affirmed " that the excommu- 
nications launched by the council of Trent and the Ro- 
man pontiffs against those who invade and usurp the 
possessions of the church and its rights, strive, by con- 
founding the spiritual and temporal orders to attain 
solely a mere earthly end ; that the church can decide 
nothing which may bind the consciences of the faithful 
in the temporal order of things ; that the right of the 
church is not competent to restrain with temporal pen- 
alties the violators of her laws ; and that it is in accord- 
ance with the principles of theology and of public law 
for the civil government to appropriate property pos- 
sessed by the churches, the religious orders, and other 
pious establishments." And they have no shame in 
avowing openly and publicly the heretical statement 
and principle from which have emanated so many errors 
and perverse opinions, "that the ecclesiastical power is 
not by the law of God made distinct from and indepen- 
dent of civil power, and that no distinction, no inde- 
pendence of this kind can be maintained without the 
church invading and usurping the essential rights of the 
civil power." Neither can we pass over in silence the 
audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, 
assert that "the judgments and decrees of the holy 
see, the object of which is declared to concern the gen- 
eral welfare of the church, its rights, and its discipline ; 
do not cla ; m acquiescence and obedience under pain of 
sin and loss of the Catholic profession, if they do not 
treat of the dogmas of faith and of morals." 

How contrary is this doctrine to the Catholic dogma 
of the plenary power divinely conferred on the sover- 


eign pontiff by our Lord Jesus Christ, to guide to super- 
vise, and govern the universal church, no one can fail to 
sec and understand clearly and evidently. 

Amid so great a perversity of depraved opinions, 
remembering our apostolic duty, and solicitous before 
all things for our most holy religion, for sound doctrine, 
for the saltation of the souls confided to us, and for the 
welfare of human society itself, hare considered the 
moment opportune to raise anew our apostolic voice. 
Therefore do we by our apostolic authority reprobate, 
denounce, and condemn generally and particularly all 
the evil opinions and doctrines specially mentioned in 

this letter, and we wish that they may he held as rep- 
robated, denounced, and condemned by all the children 
of the Catholic church. 

But you know further, venerable brethren, that in 
our time the haters of all truth ami justice and violent 

enemies of our religion have spread abroad other impi- 
ous doctrines by means of pestilent books, pamphlets, 
and journals, which, distributed over the surface of the 
earth, deceive the people and wickedly lie. You are 
not ignorant that in our day men are found who, ani- 
mated and excited by the spirit of Satan, have arrived 
at that excess of impiety as not to fear to deny our Lord 
and Master Jesus Christ, and to attack his divinity with 
scandalous persistence. And here we cannot abstain 
from awarding you well-merited praise, venerable breth- 
ren, for all the care and zeal with which you have raised 
your episcopal voice against so great an impiety. 

And therefore in this present letter, we speak to you 
with all affection ; to you who, called to partake our 
cares, are our greatest support in the midst of our very 
great grief, our joy and our consolation, by reason of 
the excellent piety of w T hich you give 'proof in main- 


taining religion, and the marvellous love, faith, and dis- 
cipline with which, united by the strongest and most 
affectionate ties to us and this apostolic see, you strive 
valiantly and accurately to fulfil your most weighty epis- 
copal ministry. We do then expect from your excellent 
pastoral zeal that, taking the sword of the Spirit, which 
is the word of God, and strengthened by the grace of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, you will watch with redoubled 
care, that the faithful committed to your charge " ab- 
stain from evil pasturage, which Jesus Christ doth not 
till, because his father hath not planted it." (St. Ignat. 
M. ad Philadelph. St. Leo, Epist. 156, al. 125.) Never 
cease, then, to inculcate on the faithful that all true hap- 
piness for mankind proceeds from our august religion, 
from its doctrines and practice, and that that people is 
happy who have the Lord for their God. (Psalm 143.) 
Teach them " that kingdoms rest upon the foundation 
of the Catholic faith, (St. Celest. Epist. 22, ad. Syn. 
Eph.,) and that nothing is so deadly, nothing so certain 
to engender every ill, nothing so exposed to danger, as 
for men to believe that they stand in need of nothing 
else than the free will which we received at birth, if we 
ask nothing further from the Lord — that is to say, if 
forgetting our Author, we abjure his power to show that 
we are free." And do not omit to teach " that the royal 
power has been established not only to exercise the gov- 
ernment of the world, but, above all, for the protection 
of the church, (St. Leo, Epist., 156 al. 125,) and that 
there is nothing more profitable and more glorious for 
the sovereigns of states and kings than to leave the 
Catholic church to exercise its laws, and not to permit 
any to curtail its liberty ;" as our most wise and coura- 
geous predecessor, St. Felix, wrote to the Emperor Zeno. 
"It is certain that it is advantageous for sovereigns, 


when the cause of God is in question, to submit their 
royal will according to his ordinance, to the priests of 
Jesus Christ, and not to prefer it before them." (Pius 
VII. Epist. Encycl., Diu satis, 15th May, 1800.) 

And if always, so, especially at present, is it our 
duty, venerable brethren, in the midst of the numerous 
calamities of the church and of civil society, iii view 
of the terrible conspiracy of our adversaries against 

the Catholic church and this apostolic see, and the great 
accumulation of errors, it is before all things necessary 
to go with faith to the Throne of < trace to obtain mer- 
cy and find grace in timely aid. We have therefore 
judged it right to excite the piety of all the faithful in 
order that, with us and with you all, they may pray 

without ceasing to the Father <>f lights and of mercies, 

supplicating and beseeching him fervently and humbly ; 

in order also that in the plenitude of their faith they may 
seek refuge in our Lord JeSus Christ who has redeemed 
us to God with his blood, that by their earnest and con- 
tinual prayers they may obtain from that most dear 
heart, victim of burning charity for us, that it would 
draw all by the bonds of his love, and that all men 
being inflamed by his holy love may live according to 
his heart, pleasing God in all thing's and being fruitful 
in all good works. 

But, as there is no doubt that the prayers most 
agreeable to God are those of the men who approach 
him with a heart pure from all stain, we have thought 
it good to open to Christians, with apostolic liberality, 
the heavenly treasures of the church confided to our dis- 
pensation, so that the faithful, more strongly drawn tow- 
ards true piety and purified from the stain of their sins 
by the sacrament of penance, may more confidently offer 
up their prayers to God and obtain his mercy and grace. 


By these letters emanating from our apostolic author- 
ity, we grant to all and each of the faithful of both 
sexes throughout the Catholic world, a plenary indul- 
gence in the manner of a jubilee, during one month, 
up to the end of the coming year 1865, and not longer, 
to be carried into effect by you, venerable brethren, and 
the other legitimate local ordinaries, in the form and 
manner laid down at the commencement of our sover- 
eign pontificate by our apostolical letters, in form of a 
brief, dated the 20th of November, anno 1846, and sent 
to the whole episcopate of the world, commencing with 
the words, " Arcano divincB providential concilio," and 
with the faculties given by us in those same letters. We 
desire, however, that all the prescriptions of our letters 
shall be observed, saving the exceptions we have de- 
clared are to be made. And we have granted this, not- 
withstanding all which might make to the contrary, even 
those worthy of special and individual mention and 
derogation ; and in order that every doubt and diffi- 
culty may be removed, we have ordered that copies of 
those letters should be again forwarded to you. 

"Let us implore, venerable brethren, from our in- 
most hearts, and with all our souls, the mercy of God. 
He has encouraged us so to do, by sa3'ing : ' I will not 
withdraw my mercy from them.' Let us ask and we 
shall receive ; and if there is slowness or delay in its 
reception, because we have grievously offended, let us 
knock, because to him that knocketh it shall be opened — 
if our prayers, groans, and tears, in which we must per- 
sist and be obstinate, knock at the door— and if our 
pra} T er be united. Let each one pray to God, not for 
himself alone, but for all his brethren, as the Lord hath 
taught us to pray." (St. C} T prian, Epistle 11.) But, 
in order that God may accede more casilv to our and 


your prayers, and to those of all his faithful servants, 
let us employ in all confidence as our mediatrix with 
him, the Virgin Mary, mother of God, who " has de- 
stroyed all heresies throughout the world, and who, 
the most loving mother of us all, is very gracious .... 
and full of mercy .... allows herself to be entreated 
by all, shows herself most clement towards all, and 
takes under her pitying care all our necessities with a 
most ample affection," (St. Bernard, Serm. de duodeoim 
prerofjafiri.< />. M. V., ex verbis Apocalyp. ;) and who, " sit- 
ting as queen upon the right hand of her only begotten 
son our Lord Jesus Christ in a golden vestment clothed 
around with various adornments." there is nothing which 
she cannot obtain from him. Let us implore also the 
intervention of the blessed Peter, chief of the apostles, 
and of his co-apostle Paul, and of all those saints of 
heaven, who, having already become the friends of 
God, have been admitted into the celestial kingdom, 
where they are crowned and bear palms, and who hence- 
forth certain of their own immortality, are solicitous for 
our salvation. 

In conclusion, we ask of God from our inmost soul 
the abundance of all his celestial benefits for you, and 
w r e bestow upon you, venerable brethren, and upon all 
faithful clergy and laity committed to your care, our 
apostolic benediction from the most loving depths of 
our heart, in token of our charity towards you. 

Given at Kome from St. Peter's, this 8th of December, 1864, 
1 the tenth. anniversary of the Dogmatic Definition of the 
Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, Mother of 
God, in the nineteenth year of our Pontificate. 


The Syllabus of the principal errors of our time, which are stig- 
matized in the Consistorial Allocutions, Encyclicals, and other 
Apostolical Letters of our Most Holy Father, Pope Pius IX. 


1. There exists no divine power, supreme being, 
wisdom, and providence distinct from the universe, and 
God is none other than nature, and is therefore muta- 
ble. In effect, God is produced in man and in the 
world, and all things are God, and have the very sub- 
stance of God. God is therefore one and the same 
thing with the world, and thence spirit is the same 
thing with matter, necessity with liberty, true with 
false, good with evil, justice with injustice. (Allocution 
Maxima quidem, 9th June, 1862.) 

2. All action of God upon man and the world is to 
be denied. (Allocution Maxima q u idem, 9th June, 1862. ) 

3. Human reason, without airy regard to God, is the 
sole arbiter of truth and falsehood, of good and evil ; 
it is its own law to itself, and suffices by its natural force 
to secure the welfare of men and of nations. (Allocu- 
tion Maxima quidem, 9th June, 1862.) 

4. All the truths of religion are derived from the 
native strength of human reason ; whence reason is the 
master rule by which man can and ought to arrive at 
the knowledge of all truths of every kind. (Encyclical 
Letters, Qui pluribus, 9th November, 1846 ; Singulari 
quidem, 17th March, 1856 ; and the Allocution Maxima 
quidem, 9th June, 1862.) 

5. Divine revelation is imperfect, and, therefore, 
subject to a continual and indefinite progress, which 
corresponds with the progress of human reason. (En- 
cyclical Qui pluribus, 9th November, 1846, and the Al- 
locution Maxima quidem, 9th June, 1862.) 

6. Christian faith is in opposition to human reason, 


and divine revelation not only docs not benefit, but even 
injures the perfection of man. (Encyclical Qui plwri- 
buB, Oth November, 1840, and the Allocution Maxima 
quidem, 9th June, 18G2.) 

7. The prophecies and miracles, uttered and narra- 
ted in the Sacred Scriptures, are the fictions of poets ; 
and the mysteries of the Christian faith arc the result of 
philosophical invest Igations. In the books of the two 
Testaments there are contained mythical inventions, 
and Jesus Christ is himself a mythical tiction. (Encyc- 
lical Qui 2>hn-ih>/s, Oth November, 1846, and the Allo- 
cution Maxima quidem, 0th June, 1862.) 

II. MODERATE nation aj.ism. 

8. As human reason is placed on a level with reli- 
gion, so theological matters must be treated in the same 
manner as philosophical ones. (Allocution Sing atari 
qufidam perfusi, Oth December, 1854.) 

0. All the dogmas of the Christian religion are, with- 
out exception, the object of natural science or philoso- 
phy, and human reason, instructed solely by history, is 
able, by its own natural strength and principles, to ar- 
rive at the true knowledge of even the most abstruse 
dogmas : provided such dogmas be proposed as subject 
matter for human reason. (Letter ad Archiep. Frising. 
Gravissimas, 11th December, 18G2 — to the same, Tuas 
libenter, 21st December, 1863.) 

10. As the philosopher is one thing, and philosophy 
is another, so it is the right and duty of the philosopher 
to submit himself to the authority which he shall have 
recognized as true ; but philosophy neither can nor 
ought to submit to any authority. (Letter ad Archiep. 
Frising. Gravissimas, 11th December, 1862 — to the 
same, Tuas libenter, 21st December, 1863.) 

11. The church not onlv ought never to animadvert 


upon philosophy, but ought to tolerate the errors of 
philosophy, leaving to philosophy the care of their cor- 
rection. (Letter ad Archiep. Frising. 11th Decem- 
ber, 1862.) 

12. The decrees of the apostolic see and of the Ro- 
man congregation fetter the free progress of science. 
(Id. Ibid.) 

13. The method and principles by which the old 
scholastic doctors cultivated theology, are no longer 
suitable to the demands of the age and the progress of 
science. (Id. Tuas libenter, 21st December, 1863.) 

14. Philosophy must be treated of without any ac- 
count being taken of supernatural revelation. (Id. Ibid. ) 

N. B. To the rationalistic system belong, in great 
part, the errors of Anthony Gunther, condemned in 
the letter to the cardinal archbishop of Cologne, Ex- 
wniam (nam, June 15, 1857 ; and in that to the bishop 
of Breslau, Dolore hand mediocri, April 30, 1860. 


15. Every man is free to embrace and profess the 
religion he shall believe true, guided by the light of rea- 
son. (Apostolic Letters, Multiplices inter, 10th June, 
1851 ; Allocution Maxima quidem, 9th June, 1862.) 

16. Men may in any religion find the way of eternal 
salvation, and obtain eternal salvation. (Encyclical Let- 
ter, Qui pluribus, 9th November, 1846 ; Allocution, 
Ubi primum, 17th December, 1847 ; Encyclical Letter, 
Singidari quidem, 17th March, 1856.) 

17. We may entertain at least a well-founded hope 
for the eternal salvation of all those who are in no man- 
ner in the true church of Christ. (Allocution Singulari 
quadam, 9th December, 1854 ; Encyclical letter, Quanta 
confieiamur, 10th August, 1863.) 


18. Protestantism is nothing more than another 
form of the same true Christian religion, in which it is 
possible to be equally pleasing to God as in the Catho- 
lic church. (Encyclical letter, Noscitis et rwbiacum, 8th 
December, 1849.) 

IV. socialism, cummin ism, BBCBSX sociktils, l;li;i.ic\l. - 

Pests of this description are frequently rebuked in 
the severest terms in the Encye. Qui pluribus, Nov. 9, 
1846 ; Alloc. Quibus quantisque, April 20, 1849 ; Encyc 
NosciHa <1 Nobi8Cum } Dec. 8, 1849 ; Alloc. Singulori qvA- 
dam, Dec. 9, 1S54 ; Encyc. Quanto confidamut^ mcerore, 
Aug. 10, 1868. 


19. The church is not a true, and perfect, and en- 
tirely free society, nor docs she enjoy peculiar and per- 
petual rights conferred upon her by her Divine Founder, 
but it appertains to the civil power to define what are 
the rights and limits with which the church may exer- 
cise authority. (Allocution Singulari quadam, 9th De- 
cember, 1854 ; MuUisgravibusque, 17th December, 18G0; 
Maxima <jUt<l<'m, 9th June, 1802.) 

20. The ecclesiastical power must not exercise its 
authority without the permission and assent of the civil 
government. (Allocution, Memimi unusquisque, 30th 
September, 1861.) 

21. The church has not the power of denning dog- 
matically that the religion of the Catholic church is 
the only true religion. (Apostolic Letter, Multiplices 
infer, 10th June, 1851.) 

22. The obligation which binds Catholic teachers 
and authors applies only to those things which are pro- 
posed for universal belief as dogmas of the faith, by 


the infallible judgment of the church. (Letter ad 
Arehiep. Frising. Tuas libenter, 21st Dec, 1863.) 

23. The Roman pontiffs and oecumenical councils 
have exceeded the limits of their power, have usurped 
the rights of princes, and have even committed errors 
in denning matters of faith and morals. (Apost. Let- 
ter, Multipliers inter, 10th June, 1851.) 

24. The church has not the power of availing her- 
self of force, or any direct or indirect temporal power. 
(Letter Apost. Ad Ajwstoliece, 22d Aug., 1851. ) 

25. In addition to the authority inherent in the 
episcopate, a further and temporal power is granted to 
it by the civil authority, either expressly or tacitly, 
which power is on that account also revocable by the 
civil authority whenever it pleases. (Letter Apost. Ad 
Apostdica, 22d Aug., 1851.) 

26. The church has not the innate and legitimate 
right of acquisition and possession. (Allocution Nun- 
quamfore, 15th Dec, 1856. Encyclical Inrredibili, 17th 
Sept., 1863.) 

27. The ministers of the church and the Roman 
pontiff ought to be absolutely excluded from all charge 
and dominion over temporal affairs. (Allocution Max- 
ima quidem, 9th June, 1862.) 

28. Bishops have not the right of promulgating 
even their apostolical letters, without the permission of 
the government. (Allocution Nunqvam fore, 15th De- 
cember, 1856.) 

29. Dispensations granted by the Roman pontiff 
must be considered null, unless they have been asked 
for by the civil government. (Id. Ibid.) 

30. The immunity of the church and of ecclesiasti- 
cal persons derives its origin from civil law. (Apost. 
M\tl#plices inter, 10th June, 1851.) 


31. Ecclesiastical courts for temporal causes, oi 
the clergy, whether civil or criminal, ought by all c 

to be abolished, even without the concurrence and 
against the protest of the holy see. (Allocution Acer- 
Ummum, 27th September, L862 ; Alloc. Nunquam fore, 
15th December, 1866.) 

32. The personal immunity exonerating the clergy 
from military service may be abolished, without viola- 
tion either of natural right or of equity. Its aboli- 
tion is called for by civil progress, especially in a com- 
munity constituted upon principles of liberal govern- 
ment. (Letter to the archbishop of Montreal, Singula- 
v/'s habisque, 29th September, 1864.) 

33. It does not appertain exclusively to ecclesiasti- 
cal jurisdiction, by any right; proper and inherent, to 
direct the teaching of theological subjects. (Lett 
Archiep. Frtiing. TuazJfSbenter, 21st December, 1863.) 

34 The teaching of those, who compare the » 
eigU pontiff to a free sovereign acting in the universal 
church, is a doctrine which prevailed in the middle 
ages. (letter Apost. Ad ApostQliocB, 22d August, 1851. "> 

35. There would be no obstacle to the sentence of 
a general council, or the act of all the universal peoples, 
transferring the pontifical sovereignty from the bishop 
and city of Rome to some other bisho}:>ric and some 
other city. (Id. Ibid. ) 

36. The definition of a national council does not 
admit of any subsequent discussion, and the civil power 
can regard as settled an affair decided by such national 
council. (Id. Ibid.) 

37. National churches can be established, after be- 
ing withdrawn and plainly separated from the authority 
of the Roman pontiff. (Alloc. Multis gravibusque, 17th 
Pec., 186*0 ; Jamdudum cernimw, 18th March, 1861.) 


38. Roman pontiffs have, by their too arbitrary con- 
duct, contributed to the division of the church into 
eastern and western. (Letter Apost. Ad Apostoliece, 
22d August, 1851.) 


39. The republic is the origin and source of all rights, 
and possesses rights which are not circumscribed by 
any limits. (Allocution Maxima quidem, 9th June, 

40. The teaching of the Catholic church is o}:>posed 
to the well-being and interests of society. (Encyclical 
Qui pluribus, 9th November, 184G ; Allocution Quibus 
qnantisque, 20th April, 1849.) 

41. The civil power, even when exercised by an in- 
fidel sovereign, possesses an indirect and negative power 
over religious affairs. It therefore possesses not only 
the right called that of exequatur, but that of the (so- 
called) appeUatio ab abusu* (Apostolic Letter, Ad 
Apostoliece, 22d August, 1801.) 

42. In the case of conflicting laws between the two 
powers, the civil law ought to prevail. (Letter Apost. 
Ad Apostoliece, 22d August, 1851.) 

43. The civil power has a right to break, and to de- 
clare and render null the conventions (commonly called 
concordats) concluded with the apostolic see, relative 
to the use of rights appertaining to the ecclesiastical 
immunity, without the consent of the holy see, and even 
contrary to its protest. (Allocution In consisloriali, 1st 
November, 1850. Mutt is r/raeibuxque, 17th December, 

* The power of authorizing official acts of the papal power, 
and of correcting the alleged abuses of the same, 


44. The civil authority may interfere in matters re- 
lating to religion, morality, and spiritual government 
Hence it has control over the instructions for the guid- 
ance of consciences issued, conformably with their mis- 
sion, by the pastors of the church. Further, it pos- 
sesses power to decree, in the matter of administering 
the divine sacraments, as to the dispositions necessary 

for their reception. (Allocution /// oonsUforiali, 1st 

November, 1850 ; Allocution Maxima quidem^ 9th June, 

45. The entire direction of public schools, in which 
the youth of Christian states are educated, except (to 
a certain extent) in the case of episcopal seminaries, 
may and must appertain to the civil power, and belong 
to it so far, that no other authority whatsoever shall be 
recognized as having any right to interfere in the disci- 
pline of the schools, the arrangement of the studies, the 
taking of degrees, or the choice and approval of the 
teachers. (Allocution In consisioriali, 1st Nov., I860 ; 
Allocution Quibus lucttumssimis, 5th Sept., 1851.) 

4G. Much more, even in clerical seminaries, the 
method of study to be adopted is subject to the civil 
authority. (Allocution Nunquamfore, 15th December, 

47. The best theory of civil society requires, that 
popular schools open to the children of all classes, and 
generally, all public institutes intended for instruction 
in letters and philosophy, and for conducting the edu- 
cation of the young, should be freed from all ecclesias- 
tical authority, government, and interference, and 
should be fulry subject to the civil and political power, 
in conformity with the will of rulers and the prevalent 
opinions of the age. (Letter to the archbishop of Fri- 
bourg. Quum non sine, 14th July, 1864.) 


48. This system of instructing youth, which consists 
in separating it from the Catholic faith and from 
the power of the church, and in teaching exclusively, 
or at least primarily, the knowledge of natural things 
and the earthly ends of social life alone, may be approv- 
ed by Catholics. (Id. Ibid.) 

49. The civil power has the right to prevent minis- 
ters of religion, and the faithful, from communicating 
freely and mutually with each other, and with the Roman 
pontiff. (Allocution Maxima quidem, 9th June, 1862.) 

50. The secular authority possesses, as inherent in 
itself, the right of presenting bishops, and may require 
of them that they take possession of their dioceses, be- 
fore having received canonical institution and the apos- 
tolic letters from the holy see. (Allocution Nunquam 

fore, 15th December, 1856.) 

51. And further, the secular government has the 
right of deposing bishops from their pastoral functions, 
and it is not bound to obey the Roman pontiff in those 
things which relate to episcopal sees and the institu- 
tion of bishops. (Letter Apost. MuttipHqea inter, 10th 
June, 1851 ; Allocution Acerbissimum, 27th Sept., 1852.) 

52. The government has of itself the right to alter 
the age prescribed by the church for the religious pro- 
fession, both of men and women ; and it may enjoin 
upon all religious establishments to admit no person to 
take solemn vows without its permission. (Allocution 
Nunquam fore, 15th Dec, 1856.) 

53. The laws for the protection of religious estab- 
lishments, and securing their rights and duties, ought 
to be abolished : nay more, the civil government may 
lend its assistance to all who desire to quit the religious 
life they have undertaken, and break their vows. The 
government may also suppress religious orders, colle- 


giate churches, and simple benefices, even those belong- 
ing to private patronage, and submit their goods and 
revenues to the administration and disposal of the civil 

power. (Allocution Acerbissimum, 27th Sept, 1852; 
Allocution Probe memineritis, 22d January, is.").") ; Allo- 
cution Cum scBpe, 26th July, 1855.) 

54. Kings and princes are not only exempt from the 

jurisdiction of the church, but are superior to the 
church, in litigated questions of jurisdiction. (Letter 
Apost. Multiplier inter, 10th June, 1851.) 

55. The church ought to be separated from the state, 

and the state from the church. (Allocution Acerbtigi- 

mum, 27th September, 1S52.) 


.")«".. Moral laws do not stand in need of the divine 
sanction, and there is no necessity that human laws 
should be conformable to the law of nature, and receive 
their sanction from God. (Allocution M lidem, 

9th June, 1802.) 

57. Knowledge of philosophical things and morals, 
and also civil laws, may and must be independent of 
divine and ecclesiastical authority. (Allocution Maxi- 
ma quidem, 9th June, 18G2.) 

58. No other forces are to be recognized than those 
which reside in matter ; and all moral teaching and 
moral excellence ought to be made to consist in the ac- 
cumulation and increase of riches by every possible 
means, and in the enjoyment of pleasure. (Allocution 
Maxima quidem, 9th June, 1862 ; Encyclical Quanta 
eonficiamur, 10th August, 1863.) 

59. Right consists in the material fact, and'all human 
duties are but vain words, and all human acts have the 
force of right. (Alloc. Maxima quidem, 9th June, 1862. ) 


60. Authority is nothing else but the result of nu- 
merical superiority and material force. (Allocution 
Maxima quidem, 9th June, 1862. ) 

61. An unjust act, being successful, inflicts no injury 
upon the sanctity of right. (Allocution Jamdudum cer- 
nimus, 18th March, 1861.) 

62. The principle of non-intervention, as it is called, 
ought to be proclaimed and adhered to. (Allocution 
Novo8 et ante, 28th September, 1860.) 

63. It is allowable to refuse obedience to legitimate 
princes : nay more, to rise in insurrection against them. 
(Encyclical Quipluribus, 9th November, 1846 ; Allocu- 
tion Quisque vestrum, 4th October, 1847 ; Encyclical 
Nbacitis et nobiscum, 8th December, 1849 ; Letter Apos- 
tolus Cum Catholica, 26th March, 1860.) 

64. The violation of a solemn oath, even every wick- 
ed and flagitious action repugnant to the eternal law, is 
not only not blamable, but quite lawful, and worthy of 
the highest praise, when done for the love of country. 
(Allocution Quibus quantisque, 20th April, 1849.) 


65. It cannot be by any means tolerated, to main- 
tain that Christ has raised marriage to the dignity of a 
sacrament. (Apostolical Letter, Ad Apostolicce, 22d 
August, 1851.) 

G(y. The sacrament of marriage is only an adjunct 
of the contract, and separable from it, and the sacra- 
ment itself consists in the nuptial benediction alone. 
(Id. Ibid.) 

67. By the law of nature, the marriage tie is not in- 
dissoluble, and in many cases divorce, properly so call- 
ed, may be pronounced by the civil authority. (Id. 
Ibid ; Allocation Acei'bissim urn, 27th September, 1852.) 


68. The church has not the power of Laying down 
what arc diriment impedimenta to marriage. The civil 

authority does possess such a power, and can do away 
with existing impedimenta to marriage. (Let. Apost. 
MultipHces inter, 10th June, 1851.) 

69. The church only commenced in later ages to 
bring in diriment impediments, and then availing her- 
self of a right not her own, but borrowed from the civil 
power. (Let, Apis . A<i Apostolicce, 22d Aug., 1851.) 

70. The canons of the Council of Trent, which pro- 
nounce censure of anathema against those who deny to 

the church tlie right of laying down what are diriment 

impedimenta, either are not dogmatic ormust he under- 
stood as referring only to such borrowed power. (Let. 
Apost. Ibid.) 

71. The form of Bolemnizing marriage prescribed by 
the said Council, under penalty of nullity, does not bind 
in cases where the civil law lias appointed another form, 
and where it decrees that this new form shall effectuate 
a valid marriage. (Id. Ibid.) 

72. Boniface Vlii. is the first who declared, that the 
vow of chastity pronounced at ordination annuls nup- 
tials. (Id. Ibid.) 

i:\. A merely civil contract may, among Christians, 
constitute a true marriage ; and it is false, either that 
the marriage contract between Christians is always a 
sacrament, or that the contract is null if the sacrament 
be excluded. (Id. Ibid., Letter to King of Sardinia, 
9th September, 1852; Allocution Acerbissimum, '27th 
Sept., 1852 ; Multis gravibusque, 17th Dec, 1860.) 

71. Matrimonial causes and espousals belong by 
their very nature to civil jurisdiction. (Let. Apost. Ad 
Apostolical, 22d August, 1851 ; Allocution Acerbistdmunij 
27th September, 1852.) 


N. B. Two other errors may tend in this direction, 
those upon the abolition of the celibacy of priests, and 
the preference due to the state of marriage over that of 
virginity. These have been proscribed ; the first in the 
Encyclical Qui pluribus, Nov. 9, 1846 ; the second in 
the Letters Apostolical Multiplices inter, June 10, 


75. The children of the Christian and Catholic 
church are not agreed upon the compatibility of the 
temporal with the spiritual power. (Let. Apost. Ad 
Apostolicce, 22d August, 1851. ) 

76. The abolition of the temporal power, of which 
the apostolic see is possessed, would contribute in the 
greatest degree to the liberty and prosperity of the 
church. (Alloc. Quibus quanlisque, 20th April, 1849.) 

N. B. Besides these errors, explicitly noted, many 
others are impliedly rebuked by the proposed and as- 
serted doctrine, which all Catholics are bound most 
firmly to hold, touching the temporal sovereignty of the 
Roman pontiff. These doctrines are clearly stated in 
the Allocutions Quibus quantisque, 20th April, 1849 ; 
and Si semper antea, 20th May, 1850 ; Letter Apost. 
Quum Catholica Ecclesia, 26th March, 1860 ; Allocu- 
tions Novos, 28th Sept., 1860 ; Jamdudum, 18th March, 
1861, and Maxima quidem, 9th June, 1862 


77. In the present day, it is no longer expedient that 
the Catholic religion shall be held as the only religion 
of the state, to the exclusion of all other modes of wor- 
ship. (Allocution Nemo vestrum, 26th July, 1855.) 

78. Whence it has been wisely provided by law, in 


some countries called Catholic, that persona coining to 
reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their 
own worship. (Allocution Acerbitarimum, 27th Septem- 
ber, 1852.) 

79. Moreover it is false, that the civil liberty of every 
mode of worship, and the full power given to all of 
overtly and publicly manifesting their opinions and 
their ideas, of all kinds whatsoever, conduce more easily 
to corrupt the morals and minds of the people, and to 
the propagation of the pest of indifferentism. (Allo- 
cution Nunquamfore, loth December, 1850.) 

80. The Roman pontiff can and ought to reconcile 
himself to, and agree with progress, liberalism, and 
civilization as lately introduced. (Allocution Jamdu- 
dum cernimus, 18th March, 1861.) 

The Encyclical and Syllabus were felt on all hands, 
have remarked, to be a blow struck at the con- 
victions of the party which included some of the noblest 
men in the Roman-catholic church. But the blow was 
not necessarily a fatal one. The authority of the pope 
was acknowledged on all hands, so that his utterance 
had to be received with outward deference. But so 
long as his infallibility was, as it had always been held 
to be, a matter of open question, it could not be re- 
quired that his dicta should control the inward convic- 
tion. The lovers of civil and religious freedom through- 
out Roman-catholic Christendom bent their heads in 
silence until this sirocco blast from the Vatican should 
be overpast. By-and-by there appeared, from the pen 
of one of the most vehement but unstable of the adhe- 
rents of the Liberal Catholic party — Bishop Dupanloup 


of Orleans — a laborious attempt to prove that the En- 
cyclical and Syllabus did not mean what they said ; 
that they were aimed not at liberty but at license ; and 
that the errorists condemned in them were not the in- 
telligent advocates of a free press, free schools, and a 
free conscience, but only the crazy adherents of lawless 
socialism. This interpretation was utterly untenable ; 
but it was convenient ; in fact, it was indispensable to 
avert from the head of the Roman church the abhor- 
rence of free men and free nations. Consequently, it 
was adopted and defended by many ; and in the Uni- 
ted States especially, the Syllabus was promulgated 
only under such glosses and protestations on the part 
of the hierarchy as quite turned the edge of it. The 
Liberal Catholic party began to pluck up heart again ; 
and the friends of absolutism in church and state felt 
the necessity of some new device which should effec- 
tually and finally crush their antagonists within the 



The first announcement by the pope of his intention 
to convoke a general Council was made in an addr< 

his to an assembly of five hundred bishops at Rome, 
June 2G, 18G7. Twelve months from that time, June 
29, 18G8, the bull JEterni Patria was published, convo- 
king the Council for the 8th of December, 1869. 

The proposal of a Council was bv no means unac- 
ceptable to the Liberal party. Confident in the rea- 
sonableness and righteousness of their cause, they wel- 
comed the prospect of submitting it to the judgment, 
not of the knot of Italians in the unhappy city of Borne 
that were the power behind the papal throne, but to 
tlu 1 assembly of bishops from every country, who, know- 
ing from their practical experience what are the diffi- 
culties which their church is subject to in its relation 
with earnest, devout, and thoughtful men, what are the 
scandals that bring odium upon it, what the almost 
universal suspicions of its hatred to human liberty and 
science, would be free to consider the remedies for 
these things. Thoughts and plans of reform began to 
take shape in their minds.* But they were not long 
in discovering their mistake. 

To get business in readiness for the Council, spe- 
cial committees of theologians were nominated by the 

* See Ce qui se passe ait, Concile, chap. 1. Pastoral of Bp. Du- 
panloup of Orleans. (Transl. in Catholic World of September, 
1870.) Lord Acton in North British Keview of October, 1870. 
Cardinal Schwarzenberg's Desideria Patribus Concilii (Ecumcnici 
proponenda, in Documcnta ad Ulustrandum Concilium, p. 280. 


pope, who assembled at Koine during the winter of 
1868-9. The Liberal party perceived, to their dismay, 
that these had been selected, not only without care to 
represent the various phases of opinion within the 
church, but with an apparent design to unite the most 
extravagant advocates of the pope's favorite opinions.* 
Contrary to usage and to fitness in such cases, the sub- 
jects to be brought before the body were kept pro- 
foundly secret from those who were to be called to 
pronounce upon them. 

Besides this direct preparation for the Council, a 
more remote preparation had long been in progress. 
For years, the question of the candidate's " soundness" 
on points at issue between the parties of absolutism 
and of liberty, had been considered at Rome, in the 
appointment of bishops ; and the theological semina- 
ries, in which historical studies had a strong tendency 
to discourage belief in infallibility, had been steadily 
manipulated in the interest of absolutism. f For years, 
encouragement had been given to the holding of pro- 
vincial synods, the transactions of which, in the first 
place, were managed with undue influence from the 
representative of the pope, and then the record of them 
having been garbled by the expert hands of papal 
politicians at Rome, sent back to be published in the 
respective countries as the personal work of the bish- 
ops themselves. J Religious associations were organ- 

* Quirinus, p.*8. Ce qui se passe au Conc'de, p. 10. 

f Catholic World, August, 1871, p. 593. 

% This astounding charge, presented by the author of Ce qui se 
passe au Conc'de, (p. 18,) as "sustained by certain and authentic 
facts in the history of the church of France of late years," is cor- 
roborated letter for letter from the history of the Roman church 
in America, by the personal testimony of Archbishop Kenrick, 
given below, p. 1^7. 


ized under papal sanction among the laity of various 
regions to pray and labor for the prevalence of the doc- 
trine of the pope's infallibility. By-and-by books in 
favor of this doctrine began to appear in regions where 
it had not obtained currency, and influences were used 
to draw even Liberal bishops into good-natured com- 
mendation of them.* As the time of the Council ap- 
proached, appliances of every sort were multiplied to 
manufacture a factitious public opinion in the dioceses 
of unwilling bishops, such as would constrain them at 
least to withhold their opposition from the designs of 
the absolutist party. The organization of the monastic 
orders, and especially the Jesuits, afforded unbounded 
facilities for this. The convents and clergy of each of 
these orders are not subject to the bishops of the dio- 
ceses in which they are situated, but report to separate 
hierarchies of their own, each culminating in a general 
who resides at Rome and is under the immediate orders 
of the pope. Thus, in a contest in which the few re- 
maining independent prerogatives of the bishops were 
sought to be extinguished at last by the exorbitantly 
increasing power of the pope, the latter had at his im- 
mediate disposal in every diocese a force of "regular" 
clergy, the natural rivais and enemies of episcopal 
authority from which they were themselves exempt, f 

* See Abp. Kenrick, p. 140. 

f The author of Ce qui se passe au Concile gives, in long and 
amusing detail, an account of the various devices used to bring 
the Liberal bishops to terms of submission in advance of the Coun- 
cil. The farewell letter of Bishop Dupanloup to his clergy, on 
setting out for the Council, adverts to the same  ' effort made " (by 
the pope's party) "to create a current in public opinion favorable 
to their desires, and to bear down upon the assembled bishops 
with all the pressure of this anticipatory judgment. Shall I go so 
far," the bishop adds, "as to mention the pious artifices resorted 
to for the same object ? Some have gone to the point of distribu- 


When the time seemed ripe, the purpose and pro- 
gramme of the Council were announced in a formal 
manifesto in the acknowledged newspaper organ of the 
pope — the CiviUa Cattolica. In an article published 
February 6, 1869, were set forth not only the points to 
be accomplished, but the method of coming at them. 
The doctrines of the Syllabus were to be promulgated, 
the "four articles" of Gallicanism were to be anathe- 
matized, and the infallibility of the pope to be declared. 
It was easy to see that the last act, if performed, would 
render the other two superfluous. Accordingly the 
way of achieving this is laid out with great frankness. 
The Council was to be very short — six weeks would be 
long enough ; the minority, however eloquent, should 
not be suffered to hinder the plan ; it was hoped that 
without speeches or discussions, under an immediate 
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Council would de- 
fine the dogma of infallibility by acclamation* The 

ting in the streets— I saw it myself two years ago ; they are keep- 
ing it up to this day — thousands of little handbills, with the vow 
to believe in the personal and separate infallibility of the pope." 
The letter may be found in the Appendix to vol. 2 of the Dis- 
courses of Father Hyacinthe. 

* In his Pastoral on the Council, Archbishop Manning, with 
an effrontery which is absolutely overwhelming in view of such a 
document as that above cited, treats the apprehension in the 
minds of the Liberals of such a coup cf Hat on the part of the abso- 
lutists, as mere causeless panic, the product of imagination. ' ' The 
truth is, that nobody, so far as my knowledge reaches, and I believe 
I may speak with certainty, ever for a moment dreamed of this defini- 
tion by acclamation. All whom I have ever heard speak of these 
rumors were unfeignedly amused at them." One is bewildered in 
the attempt to answer this language of Archbishop Manning ; for 
the very documents which he quotes in this Pastoral show him to 
have been acquainted with the facts of which he denies the exist- 
ence. See Petri Privilegium, 3. 37 ; "Janus," p. 5 ; Ce qui se passe 
au Concile, pp. 25-29 ; Lord Acton in North British Review, Octo- 
ber, 1870. 


suggestion was simultaneously reduplicated, as if by 

preconcert, by Bishop Plantier of Nimes, in an official 
charge, as big as a book, on General Councils. 

Everything seemed to favor the designs of the abso- 
lutists. The press seemed to be occupied with utter- 
ing their manifestoes, and to have no voice for the other 
side. One ponderous pastoral after another rolled 
forth from such prelates as Manning of Westminster 
and Dechamps of Malines, in commendation of the pro- 
posed dogma of infallibility, as being the universally 
accepted dogma of the Roman-catholic church, and 
men began to wonder whether the other side was to 
have a hearing at all. So ill were the Liberal party 
prepared tor the debate, that it was not till June, 1870, 
that the first demonstration was made in their behalf 
The first official word spoken by any bishop against the 
proposed dogma was in the letters of Dupanloup of 
Orleans, less than a month before the opening of the 

Ale an while, a book which will be memorable in the 
history of literature, as one of the most crushing blows 
ever struck in any controversy, had come forth, in 
August, from a Catholic university in Germany, entitled 
" The Pope and the Council, by Janus." It is the work 
of more than one learned theologian of the Roman- 
catholic church, and deals with the question of infalli- 
bility from the root. It shows that the theological 
opinion in favor of papal infallibility, as it has been 
held by many in other ages, was the offspring of sheer 
imposture and wholesale forgery, sustained and repeat- 
ed from generation to generation ; and that many other 
of the claims of the papacy rest on like foundation. It 

* The chronology of this discussion is given in Ce qui se passe 
au Coyicile, pp. 28-38. 


touches on the cases of alleged heresy and mutual con- 
tradiction on the part of certain popes. And finally, it 
exhibits the character of some of the former papal de- 
crees, which the retrospective force of the new dogma 
would certify to be infallible — too insulting to the in- 
telligence of the present day to be tolerated by any 
thinking man — and warns the bishops what are the 
consequences of the act to which they are urged. The 
warning has been disregarded, and the little book of 
Janus needs only to be translated into another mood 
and tense, to be the most convenient manual extant of 
the present tenets now professed as infallible by the 
church of Borne.* 

After the arrival of the bishops at Rome, further 
preparatory discussion in print was interdicted by the 
pope, just as the bishop of Orleans was about to pub- 
lish a reply to the ultramontanes. The interdict held 
good against the minority till the close of the Council ; 
but it was not found difficult for the partisans of infal- 
libility to get permission to print, on their side, what- 
ever might seem conducive to the success of their plans, f 

* The authorized English translation of Janus (a beautiful 
specimen of clear, neat, idiomatic translation into English) is pub- 
lished in America by Roberts Brothers, Boston. Dr. Hergenrotker 
in his book called Anti-Janus, (Catholic Publication Society, New 
York,) attempts to answer Janus in detail ; but does not apprecia- 
bly weaken the tremendous force of his main arguments. Dr. 
Manning has hit upon the only really effective way of answering 
Janus, in his fine argument, that if historical facts are opposed to 
a dogma, it is all the worse for the facts. "The true and conclu- 
sive answer to this objection consists .... in a principle of faith ; 
namely, that whensoever any doctrine is contained in the divine 
tradition of the church, all difficulties are excluded by prescrip- 
tion." Petri PrivUegium, 3. 119. 

+ Ce qui se passe au Concile, p. 38. This statement, which 
seemed one of the hardest to believe against the pope and his 
party, is incidentally confirmed by Archbishop Kenrick, p. 109. 


But though the bishops were silenced, except so far 
as they would consent to speak on the pope's side, other 
voices continued to be heard in behalf of history mis- 
represented and society imperilled. The most notable 
and effective pamphlets issued, perhaps, were those of 
the learned and courageous Father Gratry. His four 
letters to the archbishop of Malinefl were an unrefuted 
and irrefutable exposition not only of the fact that Pope 
Honorius was condemned and anathematized as a her- 
etic by the Sixth General Council, but also of the long 
succession of frauds and forgeries by which the author- 
ities of the church of Rome had sought to suppress 
this fact from the knowledge of its devotees.* 

But the progress of events was not, on the whole, 
such as to encourage the hope of a free Council. The 
undisguised intervention of the pope himself, with the 
use of every kind of influence, official and personal, to 
secure the adoption of the proposed dogma, and the 
arrogance of the party of his adherents, increased 
daily as the time for opening the Council drew near. 
This party was emboldened, at last, to strike at the 
foremost figure in the Roman-catholic pulpit — long the 
object of its special hatred. The matchless eloquence 
of Father Hyacinthe, his illustrious services to the 
church of Rome, his devotion to the pope as the spirit- 
ual head of the church, the ascetic purity of his life, his 
faith and piety, were all of no account, in. view of the one 
crime of his devotion to liberty and human rights. The 
influence of " the party omnipotent at Rome " secured, 
from the head of his monastic order, a letter of rebuke 
and instruction, which was equivalent, for any honest 

* The Letters of Father Gratry are published in an English 
translation, in pamphlet, by Pott, Young & Co., New York. They 
constitute a document of permanent value. 


preacher, to an interdict from further preaching. The 
protest uttered by him in reply signalized and intensi- 
fied the feelings of the two parties whose final conflict 
was impending. 


To the Reverend, the General, of the Order of Barefooted 

Carmelites, Home : 

Very Reverend Father : During the five years of 
my ministry at Notre Dame, Paris, notwithstanding 
the open attacks and secret misrepresentations of which 
I have been the object, your confidence and esteem 
have never for a moment failed me. I retain numerous 
testimonials of this in your handwriting, which relate 
as well to my preaching as to myself. "Whatever may 
occur, I shall hold this in grateful remembrance. 

To-day, however, by a sudden shift, the cause of 
which I look for not in your heart, but in the intrigues 
of a party omnipotent at Rome, you find fault with 
what you have encouraged, blame what you have ap- 
proved, and demand that I shall use such language or 
keep such a silence as would no longer be the entire and 
loyal expression of my conscience. 

I do not hesitate a moment. With speech falsified 
by an order from my superior, or mutilated by enforced 
reticences, I would not again enter the pulpit of Notre 
Dame. I express my regret for this to the brave and 
intelligent bishop* who placed me and has maintained 
me in it against the ill-will of the men of whom I have 
just been speaking. I express my regrets for it to the 
imposing audience which there surrounded me with its 
attention, its sympathies — I had almost said, its friend- 
ship. I should be worthy neither of the audience, nor* 

* Archbishop Darboy of Paris. 


of the bishop, nor of my conscience, nor of God, if I 
could consent to play such a part in their presence. 

At the same time, I withdraw from the convent in 
which I dwell, and which, in the new circumstances 
which have befallen me, has become a prison to my 
soul. In acting thus, I am not unfaithful to my vows. 
I have promised monastic obedience — but within the 
limits of an honest conscience, and of the dignify of 
my person and ministry. I have promised it under 
favor of that higher law of justice, the "royal law of 
liberty," which is, according to the apostle James, the 
proper law of the Christian. 

It was the most untrammelled enjoyment of this 
holy liberty that I came to seek in the cloister, now 
more than ten years ago, under the impulse of an en- 
thusiasm pure from all worldly calculation — I dare not 
add, free from all youthful illusion. If, in return for 
my sacrifices, I now am offered chains, it is not merely 
my right to reject them, it is my duty. 

This is a solemn hour. The church is passing 
through one of the most violent crises — one of the 
darkest and most decisive — of its earthly existence. 
For the first time in three hundred years, an (Ecumen- 
ical Council is not only summoned, but declared "ne- 
cessary." It is the word used by the holy father. Not 
at such a moment can a preacher of the gospel, were 
he the least of all, consent to hold his peace like the 
"dumb dogs" of. Israel — treacherous guardians, whom 
the prophet rebukes because they could not bark. 

The saints are never dumb. I am not one of them ; 
but yet I know that I am come of that stock— -fit it sanc- 
torum sujnus — and it has ever been my ambition to 
"place my steps, my tears, and, if need were, my blood 
in the track of theirs. 


I lift up, then, before the holy father and before 
the Council, my protest as a Christian and a priest 
against those doctrines and practices which call them- 
selves Roman but are not Christian, and which, making 
encroachments ever bolder and deadlier, tend to change 
the constitution of the church, the substance as well 
as the form of its teaching, and even the spirit of its 
piety. I protest against the divorce, as impious as it 
is mad, which men are struggling to accomplish be- 
tween the church, which is our mother for eternity, and 
the society of the nineteenth century, whose sons we 
are for time, and toward which we have both duties 
and affections. 

I protest against that opposition, more radical and 
frightful yet, which arrays itself against human nature, 
attacked and revolted by these false teachers in its 
most indestructible and holiest aspirations. I pro- 
test, above all, against the sacrilegious perversion of 
the gospel of the Son of God himself, the spirit and 
the letter of which are alike trodden under foot by the 
Pharisaism of the new law. 

It is my most profound conviction that if France in 
particular, and the Latin races in general, are delivered 
over to anarchy, social, moral, and religious, the prin- 
cipal cause of it is to be found, not certainly in Cathol- 
icism itself, but in the way in which Catholicism has 
for a long time been understood and practised. 

I appeal to the Council now about to assemble, to 
seek remedies for our excessive evils, and to apply them 
at once with energy and with gentleness. But if fears 
which I am loath to share should come to be realized — 
if that august assembly should have no more liberty in 
its deliberations than it now has in its preparation — if, 
in a word, it should be robbed of the characteristics 


essential to an (Ecumenical Council, I would cry out to 
God and man to demand another that should be truly 
"assembled in the Holy Spirit," and not in party spir- 
it — that should truly represent the universal church, 
and not the silence of some and the constraint of 
others. " For the hurt of the daughter of my people 
am I hurt ; I am black ; astonishment hath taken hold 
on me. Is there no balm in Gilead ? is there no phy- 
sician there ? why then is not the health of the daugh- 
ter of my people recovered?" Jer. 8 : 21, 22. 

Finally, I appeal, Lord Jesus, to thy bar. Ad tuum, 
Domine Jesu t tribunal appeUo. In thy presence I write 
these lines. At thy feet, having much prayed, much 
pondered, much Buffered, and waited long — at thy feet 
I subscribe tin in. And I have this trust concerning 
them, that, however men may condemn them upon 
earth, thou wilt approve them in heaven. Living or 
dying, this is enough for me. 

Superior of the Barefooted Carmelites of Paris, 

Second Definitor of the Order in the province of Avignon 

Pabis— Passy, September 20, 1869. 




It is a very striking remark of Archbishop Kenrick,* 
that the church, which was of old the model of repre - 
sentative government to which civil society is indebted 
for its rights and liberties, is transformed, by the ultra- 
montane theories, to the most complete type of an 
absolute despotism. 

In the earlier councils, the bishops were the elective 
officers of the local churches which they represented. 
In later ages, when the liberties of the local and na- 
tional churches were in danger of being lost in the 
encroachment of the Roman see, they were taken under 
the protection of the several civil governments. It was 
an unhappy relation for the state to hold towards reli- 
gion ; but it had, nevertheless, this advantage, that it 
secured a certain measure of independence to these 
churches and their bishops, and so gave a correspond- 
ing measure of authority to their acts when assembled 

* Infra, p. 121, note. 

The same double antithesis has been stated by other writers. 
That impressive little pamphlet, La Dernihe Ileure du Concile, 
(said by Quirinus to be by an eminent member of the Council,) 
puts it thus: "The church which once furnished to civil society 
the model of a monarchy in which the aristocratic and popular ele- 
ment effectively tempered the excesses of the supreme power — the 
church which was the first to present to the modern world the 
example of great assemblies discussing in freedom the rights of 
truth and justice— is now presenting the spectacle of a Council 
without liberty, and the menace of an absolutism without limit," 
p. 15. 


in council. If the bishops assembled at Trent had 
been the mere appointees of the pope, removable at 
his nod, representing the choice neither of the clergy, 
nor of the people and rulers of the different countries 
of Christendom, there would have been, doubtl* 
much greater unanimity in that Council, and it would 
have reached its conclusions without protracted debate ; 
but the conclusions, when readied, would have had 
exactly the value, and no more, of a decree of the mas- 
ter who created and convoked it. 

By the silent revolution alluded to by the arch- 
bishop of St. Louis, the Roman-catholic church had 
been transformed, in the three hundred years between 
the Council of Trent and the Council of the Vatican, to 
just, such an organization as we have described. A 
scanty minority only represented the poor remains of 
the early autonomy of the churches. 

According to an official statement published at 
Rome, the number of the fathers then* sitting at the 
Vatican with a voice in the deliberations was 759, seven 
having died and four received leave of absence since 
the Council opened. Out of these 759 prelates there 
are reckoned in round numbers : 

'50 cardinals ; 

100 vicars-apostolic "revocable ad mitum;" 

50 generals of orders and mitred abbots ; 

* The statement was published some weeks after the opening 
of the Council. The above analysis of the composition of the 
Council is taken from Ce qui se au Concile, pp. 4 1 18. Like 
many of the most damaging revelations and arguments of that 
book, it is too well attested to be weakened by the violent denun- 
ciations of the majority of the Council. On the contrary, the 
proved accuracv of the book, wherever we are able to test it, gives 
us reason to believe that its statements concerning the secret trans- 
actions of the Council are true, aid the passionate contradictions 
of them false. 


100 and more bishops of the Propaganda ; 

276 Italians, 143 of whom belonged to the Papal 

Outside of this enormous majority of 580 out of 
759 votes evidently secured for the Vatican, only 180 
bishops could be found whose churches still retained 
till lately some measure of autonomy. These are the 
Germans, the French, the Spanish, the Portuguese, 
and those Orientals who are not of the Latin rite. 

To appreciate the full bearing of these figures, it 
must be remarked : 

1. That the number of vicars-apostolic and func- 
tionaries of the Roman curia (bishops in partibusff) 
was never so large in any former Council ; and yet pro- 
tests of the most earnest character were repeatedly 
made against their presence, especially at Trent and 

2. That the Propaganda, the discipline of which is 
like that of an army in the field, was founded by Greg- 
ory XIII., in 1585, and is consequently later than the 
Council of Trent. It includes the episcopates of Eng- 
land, Holland, the United States, and various other 

3. That in consequence of revolutions, episcopates 
once regularly organized in such a way as to possess 
some independence, find themselves at present without 
resources, persecuted by their governments, and com- 

* That is, according to the former boundaries, which included 
2,600,000 souls. The states of the church at the opening of the 
Council included only G72,000 souls. 

f Bishops by brevet, having no dioceses or churches. When 
for any reason it seems desirable to the court of Rome to raise any 
person to the rank of bishop, without putting him into an actual 
see, he is appointed nominally to some extinct church in partilms 
injidelium, that is, in regions now occupied by heathen. 


pletely given up to the discretion of the court of Rome, 
which is their only reliance. Such is the condition of 
the bishops of South America since the revolutions of 
the last twenty years, of the Italian bishops since 1861, 
and the Spanish since 1869. 

4. That formerly the immense majority of the bish- 
ops held their sees by the concurrence of the civil and 
spiritual powers, which explains the jealous care with 
which, in the deliberations of Councils, they stood out 
for national independence and the peculiar traditions 
of their several churches. At present, out of eleven 
hundred episcopal titles in existence* there are scarcely 
two hundred in the conferment of which the Catholic 
nations retain any right whatever of interfering, wheth- 
er through the prince, or through the chapters of cathe- 
drals, or through the suffragans or the metropolitan. 
Nine hundred are absolutely at the disposition of the pope 
alone The efforts are notorious which the Roman curia 
has put forth to annihilate the last privileges still re- 
tained by France and the East. 

5. That out of 180,000,000 of Catholics in the world, 
France, Germany, and Portugal reckon 83,000,000 — 
that is, nearly one half ; while, out of the 770 prelates 
coming to the Council, these three nations— -the last 
who retain anything of their religious independence — 
are represented by only 156 bishops, or scarcely more 
than one-fifth of that assembly. 

As we have just seen, Italy, with the Papal states, 
the population of which hardly reaches 25,000,000 of 
Catholics, has 276 bishops in the Council. 

The States of the Church, which included, even with- 
in their earlier frontiers, only 2,600,000 souls, have 143 
bishops, or nearly thirty times more, in proportion, 
* Only 981 sees nre filled. 


than France, Germany, and Portugal. And if we con- 
sider that the greater part of the bishops belonging to 
the annexed provinces remained at Rome in absolute 
dependence on the Holy See, it brings us to the enor- 
mous proportion of one hundred and ten to one. 

6. That more than one-half of the prelates assem- 
bled at the Vatican were lodged and entertained, with 
their suites, at the pope's own expense. 

"With these materials, it might have seemed that 
the party of absolutism were sufficiently secure of " a 
good working majority," to leave the Council free to 
conduct its own business. But the papal court did not 
so judge. 



Among the conservative traditions of the canon law- 
are these two: first, that while a majority vote may 
suffice, in council, to enact decrees of discipline, which 
bind only the outward conduct, and are repealable, 

"moral unanimity" is necessary to the definition of 
articles of faith, which are irrepealable and bind the 
soul and conscience to an inward assent, under pain of 
everlasting damnation; secondly, thai freedom of de- 
liberation and action are necessary to the "oBCUmeni- 
city" and authority of a General Council. 

The dilemma of the Absolutist party was this : 
Either they must concede liberty to the Council, in 
which case free discussion and a free vote would result 
in a manifest diversity of sentiment on the main ques- 
tion ; or they must secure an apparent unanimity by 
the sacrifice of conciliar liberty. The choice bet 
liberty and unanimity was a perilous one to then* plans ; 
but it was boldly made. They decided to sacrifice lib- 
erty for the sake of unanimity — and failed of both. 

We have seen that the preliminary discussion of the 
matter to be submitted to the Council was prevented 
by the secrecy in which this matter had been prepared 
by committees of theologians appointed by the pope 
with reference to their partisan views. Arrived at 
Rome, the bishops found themselves bound under in- 
junctions of secrecy, forbidden to communicate with 
each other in print, and forbidden to hold meetings of 
those of the same language, for conference. 


At the first meeting of the Council, the rules of the 
Council were announced in the bull MultipUces inter. 
In this, "the pope* assumed to himself the sole initia- 
tive in proposing topics, and the exclusive nomination 
of the officers of the Council. He invited the bishoi)s 
to bring forward their own proposals, but required that 
they should submit them first of all to a commission 
which was appointed by himself, and consisted half of 
Italians. If any proposal was allowed to pass by this 
commission, it had still, to obtain the sanction of the 
pope, who could therefore exclude at will any topic, 
even if the whole Council wished to discuss it. Four 
elective commissions were to mediate between the 
Council and the pope. When a decree had been dis- 
cussed and opposed, it was to be referred, together 
with the amendments, to one of these commissions, 
where it was to be reconsidered with the aid of divines. 
What the Council discussed was to be the work of 
unknown divines ; what it voted was to be the work of 
a majority in a commission of twenty-four. ... It was 
further provided that the reports of the speeches should 
not be communicated to the bishops ; and the strictest 
secrecy was enjoined on all. 

The means of information allowed to the bishops 
on the business on which they were to act, were confined 
to the personal study which they were able to give to 
the schema during the several days — from four to eight 
days generally, but sometimes less — between the distri- 
bution of the papers and the discussion. 

Anything like debate was precluded. Off-hand 
remark was out of order. The speakers must give no- 
tice in advance of their wish to be heard, previous to 

* We take this summary of the bull from that eminent Catho- 
lic, Lord Acton's, article on the Council, ubi supra. 


the day of the session. They must speak in order of 
their rank, without reference to the relevancy of any 
speaker's remarks to those of his predecessors. No 
reply was permitted. 

The hall of the Council was so constructed — pur- 
posely, as many believed* — as to make it almost im- 
possible for speakers to be heard. The use of a dead 
language, which few of the members could readily use 
or understand, aggravated this difficulty. 

The difficulty might have been relieved by allowing 
the reports of the proceedings to be printed and sub- 
mitted to the members ; but this, too, was not allowed. 
Stenographic reports were made by official stenograph- 
ers, to be locked up with the secret archives of the 
Council. Something might have been done by means 
of printed discussion, or by allowing the speakers to 
print their speeches at their own expense. But this, 
too, was forbidden, f In short, the members of the 
Council were "forbidden to hear, forbidden to read, 
forbidden to answer. "J 

Obviously, the only place where the Council could 
have any opportunity of taking part in the shaping of 
its own business was in the committees of revision, to 
which schemata that should be objected to at their first 
introduction were to be referred for amendment. If 
these could be properly constituted, by a free vote, in 
such a way as to represent the various parties in the 
Council, the acts of the Council might be framed to 
express its views ; otherwise, not. 

The pages of "Quirinus" and Ce qui se 2^asse an 

* One of the Roman courtiers confessed this. Quirinus, p. 144. 

t Ce qui se passe au Concile, pp. 59 -Gl. All these statements 
are amply fortified by references. 

| Ibidem, p. 62. One of the bishops declared the Council to 
have been made deaf, dumb, and blind. 


Concile charge that the appointment of these commit- 
tees was carried by devices familiar to the less repu- 
table forms of politics. But the charge had been 
thrown into suspicion, by a sweeping denunciation of 
falsehood against these volumes. The testimony of 
Archbishop Kenrick shows that their gravest allega- 
tions are true, and that the only one of these commit- 
tees that reported any business, was unscrupulously 
packed with partisans of infallibility.* 

It might surely have seemed now that the Council 
was sufficiently tied up by restrictions to be secure 
against doing any harm to the plans of its managers. 
But they were so far from being satisfied of this, that 
on the 22d of February, 1870, after the Council had 
been for more than two months in session, a new code 
of fourteen rules was imposed upon it by a papal de- 
cree. Four of these rules are worthy of note : 

1. Originally, the bills, or schemata, reported by the 
preparatory commissions, were liable to be discussed 
in the Council before being referred to the Committee 
of the Council for amendment. Under the new regola- 
menio, all bills were to be referred without debate, and 
instead of speaking thereupon, the bishops were at 
liberty to send their observations upon the bill in wri- 
ting to the committee, who would make a synopsis of 
the various observations, at their discretion, and sub- 
mit it in print to the members of the Council. 

2 By Article X. of the new code it was provided 
that any speaker might be called to order by the papal 
legates for wandering from the question, and at their 
discretion might be refused liberty to proceed. Of 
course, no appeal from the decision of the chair was 

* Sec infra, p. 171. 


3. By Article XL, the "previous question" might 
be ordered by a sheer majority, and all debate cut off. 

4. But the most important of these new rules was 
that which, in defiance of all the precedents of ecclesi- 
astical history, set aside the principle thai decrees of 
faith could be enacted only by the "moral unanimity'' 
of the bishops, and provided that -" id decernetur quod 
majoripatrum numero placuerit" — i. e., any decree might 
be carried by a mere numerical majority. 

When the edict imposing these new rules was rend, 
it was felt on all hands that farther opposition to the 
plans of the Absolutist party was desperate. "The 
majority was omnipotent."* 

The minority could only protest ; and this they did 
in a very humble address to the pope's legates, which 
concluded thus : 

"As to the provisions concerning the number of 
votes requisite to the settlement of epiestions of dogma, 
which in fact is the main point, and that on which the 
whole Council hinges, it is a matter of such grave 
importance, that unless our reverent and most earnest 
petition should be granted, the burden on our con- 
sciences would be unendurable. "We should be afraid 
that the character of this body as an (Ecumenical 
Council would be called in question, and a handle 
given to our enemies for attacking the holy see and 
the Council, and that thus in the end the authority of 
this Council w^ould be impaired with the Christian pub- 
lic, as 'wanting in truth and liberty' — a calamity so 
direful, in these uneasy times, that a greater could not 
be imagined. "f 

* Lord Acton's Article. 

f Cited in the original by Quirmus. pp. 327-330. The entire 
Protest is (riven in the Docum^ntn 'id iUustrandum OoncUuan. 



The Council was opened with great pomp on the 
8th of December, 1869. 

A fortnight later,* the first part of a voluminous 
draft of a decree was distributed, under the injunction 
of secrecy, and on the 28th of December the debate on 
it began. From the beginning, it seems to have been 
admitted that the strength of the argument was with 
the minority. The "schema" or draft was at once 
severely handled ; Archbishop Conolly of Halifax rec- 
ommended that it should be " decently buried. "f But 
the -foremost figure in this and in all the subsequent 
debates was a bishop from the remote province of Cro- 
atia, on the frontier of Turkey, whose name, Stross- 
mayer, soon became famous throughout the civilized 

* In this very brief chronicle of the transactions of the Coun- 
cil, which is intended only us a setting for the documents here 
r jsented, many matters of importance to the history are necessa- 
rily omitted. At this point the promulgation, just after the open- 
ing of the Council, of the significant bull " Apostolicce Sedis," in 
which many of the most offensive claims of the papacy, such as 
its American apologists have been accustomed to repudiate or dis- 
avow, shoiild, in a full history of the Council, have been recorded 
at large. Those who would inform themselves more fully on the 
events here briefly mentioned, are referred to the notable Article 
by the Catholic Lord Acton, in the North British Review, October, 
1870, (the best of the brief accounts of the Council, from one 
whose opportunities of information were the best possible to an 
outsider, and all whose important statements of fact are confirmed 
by unimpeachable documents,) and to the more voluminous Let- 
ters of Quirinus. 

f " Ctnseo Sdiema cum honore esse sepdiendum." 


world for the vehemence and copiousness of his Latin 
eloquence, which could neither be repressed by the 
rigor of the cardinal-presidents, nor made wholly inau- 
dible by the excessively poor acoustic properties of 
the Council-chamber, nor shut from the world by the 
injunctions of secrecy. On the 30th of December he 
inveighed in the following terms against the Schema, 
as being a brutum fuhnen against errors long ago con- 
demned, and not likely to be extinguished by new 
edicts : 

" Of what use is it to condemn what has been con- 
demned already? "What satisfaction can we take in 
proscribing errors which we all know to have been pro- 
scribed beforehand? .... I admit that the false doc- 
trines of sophists, blown about like ashes in a whirl- 
wind, have corrupted multitudes, have infected the 
genius of this age ; but does anybody believe that the 
contagion of this kind of errors would not have spread, 
if only they had been crushed with conciliary anathe- 
mas ? For the support and safeguard of the Catholic 
faith, no means and powers are committed to us, in 
addition to groans and prayers to God, except Catholic 
learning, which is always in harmony with right faith. 
With the utmost assiduity, learning hostile to the faith 
is cultivated among errorists ; for that reason it is high 
time that true learning, the friend of the church, should 
be cultivated and advanced by every means among 
Catholics. . . . Let us stop the mouths of the detract- 
ors who are constantly bringing against us the false 
accusation that the Catholic church is the oppressor of 
learning, and that it so trammels all free movements 
of thought, that neither learning nor any other free- 
dom of the mind can exist or nourish within it. . . . 
On this account it needs to be shown, and to be made 


manifest both by words and deeds, that there is in the 
Catholic church real popular liberty, real progress, 
real light, real prosperity."* 

The first month of the Council was closing. A 
"solemn session" had been appointed for the 6th of 
January, 1870, at which it had h*en hoped that some- 
thing — perhaps even the great doctrine of infallibility 
itself — would have been ready to be publicly proclaimed 
"with the approbation of the holy Council." But the 
course of the debate had been too damaging to the 
Schema that had been introduced, and the hope of 
introducing and carrying the declaration of infallibility 
by acclamation had been disappointed, f The solemn 
session had to be filled up with dumb shows of cere- 
mony, especially with the renewal of the public oath 
that every bishop had already been compelled to take 
at his consecration, in which he "promises and swears 
true obedience to the pope of Rome, the vicar of Jesus 
Christ."| It was not unreasonable to suppose that the 

* Quoted in the original Latin by Lord Acton, p. 112, note, 
American edition. 

f Lord Acton declares that the purpose of " acclaiming " infal- 
libility in time to promulgate it on the Gth of January, was foiled 
by the resoluteness of Archbishop Darboy of Paris, who threatened 
that in that case a hundred bishops stood ready to quit Rome 
under protest, and, as he put it, to " carry away the Council in the 
soles of their shoes," p. 112. See also Quirinus, p. 134. Arch- 
bishop Manning's sneer at this statement in his Pastoral is of no 
account, inasmuch as his testimony, and, as we are forced to add, 
his veracity, on this subject are shamefully discredited by unim- 
peachable documents. 

X The Profession of Faith, or Oath, of Pius IV. may be found 
in full in that very valuable book of reference on Tridentine Ro- 
manism, entitled "Elliott on Romanism," published by the Meth. 
Epis. Book Concern, vol. 1, p. 26. Those who wish to study the 
Romish system as it was before the Vatican Council, will find this 
book the best delineation «of it extant. The late Council, however, 

Vatican Coiu* 11. 4 


public renewal of this vow, in the midst of overawing 
solemnities, might have an influence on the future 
course of the Council. 

Shortly after this solemn session of January 6th, 
the draft of the Decree on the Faith, haying Buffered 
severe damage in th* debate, was withdrawn, by the 
managers of the Council, from further discussion, and 
referred to the elected Committee of the Council on 
Doctrine, for reconstruction. In its place was intro- 
duced the draft of a decree on Discipline, which met no 
kinder reception from men of liberal sympathies than 
its predecessor. Already, at the beginning of the 
Council, Cardinal Schwansenberg, in a paper distribu- 
ted by him to the bishops, had Signified the hope of 
many of the most earnest men in the hierarchy that 
the Council, instead of narrowing the limits of free 
opinion, and intensifying the rigor of administration, 
might rather adapt the church, by wise modifications, 
to the changed condition of the world, the prevailing 
liberty of thought and speech and printing, the prog- 
makes all former statements of the Koman system inadequate, by 
incorporating with its infallible standards ten centuries of papal 
edicts. Still, by adding to this scholarlike and accurate account of 
Komanism as it was, the prophecy, now realized, of Romanism as 
the doctrine of infallibility would make it, given in the work of 
Janus, one will be furnished with a good beginning of informa- 
tion on the subject-matter of the Roman-catholic controversy. 

The oath of Pius IT. , above quoted, should not be confounded 
with the bishop's oath of allegiance, temporal and spiritual to the 
pope, which may also be found in Elliott, p. 30. In this oath, the 
bishop elect swears : "I will help to keep and defend the Roman 
papacy and the regalities of St. Peter, saving my order, against all 
men. . . . The rights, honors, privileges, and authority of the holy 
Roman church, of our lord the pope and his successors aforesaid, 
I will endeavor to preserve, defend, increase, and advance. . . . 
Heretics, schismatics, and rebels to our said lord or his successors 
aforesaid, I will, to the best of my power* persecute and resist. " 


ress of science, and the almost universal establishment 
of constitutional instead of absolute governments. In 
particular, he deprecated the enactment of the dogma 
of infallibility as sure to be the occasion of grave evils 
to the church ; he entreated that the abuses attendant 
upon keeping up the index of prohibited books might 
be abated ; that some of the mischiefs connected with 
the usual mode of dealing with the subject of marriage 
might be relieved ; that steps might be taken to adapt 
the constitution of the clergy to the impending uni- 
versal separation of church and state, and that, by 
some other process than the absorption by Rome of all 
the powers now held by civil governments ; and finally, 
that something might be done to remedy the lamenta- 
ble fact of the almost universal indifference of intelli- 
gent laymen, in Catholic countries, to religion and the 
church, by admitting them to some share in the work 
and care of the parishes, and in the promotion of pop- 
ular education.* 

The provisions of the proposed decree on discipline, 
tending in the opposite direction from any such reform, 
roused again the fiery eloquence of Strossmayer, whose 
speech of the 24th of Januaryf struck boldly at that 
overgrown centralization and absolutism of govern- 
ment which was the root of abuses in administration. 
He protested against vesting the absolute government 
of Christendom in a knot of Italians. He claimed that 
others than Italians should be eligible to the papacy, 
and that the " Roman congregations " which constitute 
the bureaucracy of the church, and the college of car- 

* The paper is quoted by Lord Acton, p. 109, and may be 
found in full in Prof. Friedrich's Bocumenta ad lllustr. Cone. Vat, 
p. 280. 

t So Lord Acton, p. 113. Quirinus dates it on the 25th, and 
gives a full abstract of it. 


dinals, which is the close corporation that elects the 
pope, should be made up of a proportionate represen- 
tation from all Catholic countries. "The supreme au- 
thority of the church," he said, "should have its throne 
where the Lord had fixed his own, in the hearts and 
consciences of the peojne, and that would never be 
while the papacy was an Italian property." He de- 
manded the frequent holding of Councils, open and 
free, and cited the decree of the Council of Constance, 
which required that they should be held every ten 

In view of the fact that the appointment of bishops, 
formerly limited in various ways, is rapidly falling 
under the absolute control of the pope, to the incalcu- 
lable peril of the church, he urged that provincial syn- 
ods should be invested with influence in the matter. 
" He lashed with incisive words and brilliant arguments 
those who preach a crusade against modern society, 
and openly expressed his conviction that henceforth 
the church must seek the external guarantees of her 
freedom solely in the public liberties of the nations, 
and the internal by intrusting the episcopal sees to men 
filled with the spirit of Chrysostom, Ambrose, and 

This speech does not appear to have been answered. 
It might not have been easy to answer it, and it cer- 
tainly was not necessary. There was little danger that 
in that assembly would be found many to sympathize 
with the position or the spirit of the speaker. And 
while they were sure that the voting would go mainly 

* "The speech lasted an hour and a half, and the impression 
produced was overwhelming. Bishops affirm that no such elo- 
quence in the Latin tongue has been heard for centuries. Stross- 
mayer does not indeed always speak classical Latin, but he speaks 
it with astonishing readiness and elegance." Quirinus, p. 170. 


in one way, the managers of the Council were willing 
enough that the argument should go altogether the 
other way. 

While this discussion was in progress, the document 
was preparing which was to introduce the real work of 
the Council. It was. felt on all sides that the matters 
in debate were only secondary to the one great object 
for which the Council had been called. Said one of 
the leading organs of the papal party : "In fact, there 
is only one question, and that is urgent and inevitable ; 
the decision of it would facilitate the progress and set- 
tlement of all the rest ; the delay of it paralyses every- 
thing. Without it there is no beginning, nor the 
chance of any."* 

The document which was designed to precipitate 
this question upon the Council was a petition to that 
effect to the pope, signed by more than four hundred 
bishops. Counter-addresses, deprecating the introduc- 
tion of the question of infallibility, were signed by one 
hundred and thirty-seven bishops. But the form in 
which these counter-addresses were drawn gave evi- 
dence of that fatal weakness of the minority which 
marked all its movements as a body from first to last, 
and proved the ruin of its cause : with the exception 
of a comparatively few bold spirits, the minority meant 
constantly so to conduct their opposition as to leave a 
good chance to back down from it in case it was not 
successful. Consequently the only common ground of 
opposition on which the minority could be brought to 
unite, was not that the proposed dogma was false, 
(though many of them believed this,) but that the 
definition of it was inopportune. 

Meanwhile, a third schema, on the church, and a 
* The Univers, February 9, 1870. 


fourth, providing for a universal catechism, were intro- 
duced, and debate dragged wearily on. Things were 
not working well. In close and consecutive relation, 
the monstrous system of Parliamentary roles of the 
22dof February whs imposed, and on the 6th of March 
the draft of the infallibility decree was distributed to 
the bishops, and the discussion of it postponed, in 
order to consider the first schema, which was reported 
from the committee toward the end of March, amended 
in such a way as to avoid the objections that had been 
urged against it in the former debate. It seemed to meet 
general acceptance, but for an expression in the pre- 
amble, in which Protestantism is made responsible for 
the various forms of modern unbelief — "the monstrous 
systems that go by the names of mythisxn, rationalism, 
indifferentism." It was not only this objectionable 
clause, but the obnoxious regulations under which it 
was about to be put to the vote, thai < ral bish- 

ops in opposition, and on the 22d of March brought 
Strossmayer again to the rostrum in a speech memora- 
ble for itself and for the storm of violent interruptions 
which it encountered. A considerable portion of this 
speech is extant in the Latin text, from which we trans- 
late : 

"With all respect for these very learned men, let 
me say that to my mind these assertions seem to be in 
accordance neither with truth nor with charity. Not 
with truth : it is true indeed that the Protestants have 
committed a very grave fault in contemning and over- 
ruling the divine authority of the church, and subject- 
ing the everlasting and unchangeable truths of faith to 
the judgment and decision of the subjective reason. 
This incitement to the pride of man has given occasion 
to evils unquestionably, very grave, such as rationalism, 


criticism, etc. But in respect to this also, it ought to 
be said that while Protestantism exists in connection 
with rationalism, nevertheless the germ of rationalism 
was already in existence in the sixteenth century, in the 
so-called humanism and classicism which had been un- 
advisedly fostered and nurtured in the very sanctuary 
by certain men of the highest authority. And unless 
this germ had existed beforehand, it would be impossi- 
ble to conceive how so small a spark could have kin- 
dled in the midst of Europe a conflagration so great 
that to this day it has been found impossible to quench 
it. And this other fact must be added : that contempt 
of faith and religion, of the church, and of all author- 
ity, originated independently of all relation or kindred 
to Protestantism, in the midst of a Catholic nation, in 
the eighteenth century, in the time of Voltaire and the 
encyclopedists. . . . Whatever since that time may be 
true of rationalism, I think the venerable committee 
are entirely mistaken when, in tracing the genealogy 
of naturalism, materialism, pantheism, atheism, etc., 
they assert that all these errors are exclusively the off- 
spring of Protestantism. . . . The errors above enu- 
merated are an abhorrence and abomination to the 
Protestants themselves, as they are to us ; insomuch 
that the church and we Catholics are beholden to them 
for help and cooperation in resisting and refuting these 
errors. Thus Leibnitz was a man of unquestionable 
learning, and in every respect preeminent ; a man fair 
in judging of the institutes of the Catholic church ; a 
man brave in battling against the errors of his age ; a 
man of the best spirit and worthy of the best reward 
as a restorer of peace between Christian communions. 
[Loud cries of 'Oh! oh!' The president, Cardinal de 
Angelis, rang the bell, and said, 'This is no place for 


praising Protestants.'] Such men as these (and there 
are many such in Germany and England and North 
America) are followed by a great multitude among the 
Protestants, to all of whom we may apply these words 
of the great Augustine: 'They err, but they err in 
good faith; they are heretics, but they consider us 
heretics. They did not invent the error, but inherited 
it from parents misled and brought up in error, and are 
ready to give it op the moment they are convinced.' 
[Hero there was a long interruption and ringing of the 
bell, with cries of 'Shame! shame T 'Down with the 
heretic!'] All these, although they do not belong to 
the body of the church, do nevertheless belong to its 
soul, and are partakers in the blessings of redemption. 
All these, in the love they bear toward Jesus Christ 
our Lord, and in those positive troths which they have 
Bayed from the shipwreck of the faith, are in possession 
of so many means of divine grace, which the mercy of 
God may use to bring them to the ancient faith and 
church, unless we, by our excesses and short-sighted 
offences against the charity we owe them, shall put far 
away the time of the divine mercy. As to charity, it 
certainly forbids to meddle with the wounds of another 
with any other object than to cure them — an object 
which this enumeration of the errors to which Protes- 
tantism might have given rise, does not seem to me 
adapted to accomplish. . . . 

" By the decree which has recently been communi- 
cated to us as a supplement to the internal regulations 
of the Council, it is determined that in this Council 
questions shall be settled by the majority of votes. 
Against this principle, which overthrown from the 
foundation all the practice of former Councils, many 
bishops have protested, but have received no reply. 


But in a matter of such moment, there should be given 
a reply clear, perspicuous, and void of all ambiguity. 
It looks to the uttermost calamity of this Council, for 
it certainly will give occasion to this and to future gen- 
erations to say. that this Council lacked liberty and 
truth. For my part, I am convinced that the eternal 
and unchangeable rule of faith and tradition has always 
been, and must always continue to be the rule of com- 
mon consent — of at least moral unanimity. The Council 
which, overriding this rule, should undertake to define 
dogmas of faith by a numerical majority, according to 
my inmost conviction would by that fact forfeit the 
right of binding the conscience of the Catholic world 
under the sanction of life and death eternal." 

All the latter part of this speech was delivered in 
the midst of a great uproar, with furious demonstra- 
tions of excitement from the bishops and continual 
ringing of the president's bell, by which, at last, the 
speaker was silenced.* 

* The accounts of this scene are given through many different 
channels, and are strikingly confirmatory of each other's accuracy. 
The account in Ce qui se passe au (Joncile is as follows : 

"In the general congregation of March 23d, Bishop Stross- 
mayer asked for the softening of some violent expressions of the 
schema ' De Fide,' which made the Protestants responsible for athe- 
ism, materialism, and rationalism. In support of his point, he cited 
Leibnitz in the seventeenth century and Guizot in the nineteenth, 
as having been even useful auxiliaries to the church. At these 
words, violent interruptions and groans broke out. They were 
redoubled when the speaker said that there might be Protestants 
who were such in good faith. But the uproar reached its highest 
pitch when Bishop Strossmayer demanded that questions of dog- 
ma should be decided only by moral unanimity. 

1 ' The president, who had before interrupted him, called him 
to order, and forbade him to continue. 

"Confused cries broke out on all sides: 'Descendat ab ambone ! 
descenclat ! Hcereiicusf J Ferret) ens ! Damnamus eum! Damna- 

VV'.S /' 



On the next day the silenced speaker sent in his 
protest to the presidents of the Council in these terms : 

.... "Yesterday, when I had stated this question 
from the platform, and had offered some remarks on 

the necessity of morally unanimous consent in defining 
matters of faith, I was interrupted, and in the midst of 
a very great uproar mxl severe threats [inter maximum 
tumultum et graves comminationes] I was deprived of 
the power of continuing my speech.* And this very 
serious circumstance adds proof more clear than ever 
of the necessity of having an answer to this question 
that shall be clear and void of all ambiguity. I there- 
fore most humbly petition that such an answer may be 
given at the next general congregation. Other \ ! 
should be in doubt whether it would be possible to re- 
main in a Council where the liberty of the bishops is so 
oppressed as it was yesterday oppressed in my person, 

"One bishop having said, 'At ego riof the cry was 

repeated more violently than hefore, l Damma$muI Tktn a umMst 

Bishop Stroasmayer was forced to descend from the tribune with- 
out finishing, but as he left it he repeated energetically three times, 
'Protestor! protestor! protestor!' The noise of the tumult pene- 
trated into the interior of St. Peter's church ; and some supposing 
that they were dealing with infallibility, shouted, ' Long live the 
infallible pope !' others, 'Long live the pope— but not infallible !' " 

Quirinus compares the hall of the Council to a "bear-garden 
of demoniacs," and declares that "several bishops sprang from 
their seats, rushed to the tribune, and shook their fists in the 
speaker's face." Pp. 3S5, 426. 

On the other hand, the account of Archbishop Maiming is in 
serene and beautiful contrast with all other testimonies: "Occa- 
sionally murmurs of dissent were audible ; now and then a com- 
ment may have been made aloud. In a very few instances 

expressions of strong disapproval and of exhausted patience at 
length escaped. But," etc. Petri Pnvilegium, 3. 27. 

* Compare Archbishop Manning, ubi supra, " But the descrip- 
tions of violence, outcries, menace, denunciation, . . . I can affirm 
to be calumnious falsehoods." 


and where dogmas of faith are to be denned in a manner 
new and hitherto unheard-of in the church of God."* 

The argument, though interrupted and silenced, 
was not entirely in vain. At the last moment, the 
obnoxious preamble was withdrawn, and a conciliatory 
substitute, dexterously drawn by the hand of an emi- 
nent Jesuit, was offered in its place. With exquisite 
adroitness, the managers took advantage of the reac- 
tion of good feeling consequent on their act of concili- 
ation, to introduce a little addition to the schema, "just 
to round it off handsomely," to the effect that all papal 
edicts ought to be observed, even when they proscribe 
errors not denned as heretical. The fathers of the 
minority made wry faces over the new amendment, and 
it required extraordinary efforts, public and private, 
and the most formal and solemn assurance from the 
committee that reported it, that it had no doctrinal 
application whatever — that in fact it was meant rather 
for ornament than for use — to induce them to vote for 
it. "With grave misgivings they suffered themselves, 
Strossmayer alone excepted, to be led into the trap 
that had been laid for them ; and when it had been 
sprang by their own reluctant vote at the public session 
of April 24th, and they were helplessly fastened, they 
were openly and impudently twitted by Archbishop 
Manning that they had now, to all intents and pur- 
poses, admitted the doctrine of infallibility, and that 
there was no room left for backing down — " ncc ab ea 
rccedcre nunc licere"^ With this act "the opposition 
was at an end. "J 

* For the original text of speech and protest, see Lord Acton's 
Article, pp. 115, 116. 

f Quirinus, pp. 436, 460 ; Lord Acton, p. 116. But for the 
details of this successful plot, see the testimony of Archbishop 
Kcnrick, bolow, p. 163. { Lord Acton, p. 117. 


The remaining history of the Council may be briefly 

The draft of the decree of infallibility which had 
been for many months in process of incubation in the 
pope's committee of theologians, was distributed to the 
members of the Council on the 8th of May, and their 
written observations on it called for, delivered to the 
committee of the Council, digested into a synopsis, and 
this printed and distributed to the members within a 
week's time.* The debate on the general subject began 

* The following extracts from tin- Si/nopsis are given in the 
Latin text by Lord Acton, p. 118. One bishop averred "that it 
wus perfectly clear to his mind that if infallibility were once dog- 
matically defined, there would be, in his own diocese, in which 
not a vestige of the tradition of the infallibility of the Holy Father 
had ever been found, and in other regions* a defection from the 
faith on tho part of many prisons, and not only those of small 
account, but those held in the highest estimation. " — "If the dog- 
ma is promulgated, the progress of conversions in the confederate 
provinces of America will be completely extinguished. Bishops 
and priests, in their discussions with Protestants, will have noth- 
ing to say in reply." [This observation is doubtless founded on 
the fact that in almost every considerable discussion extant be- 
tween Romanists and Protestants, some Protestant argument is 
evaded by disclaiming the ex cathedra utterances of the popes as 
being of no binding authority in the church, and denouncing the 
alleged doctrine of papal infallibility as "a Protestant invention.'"] 
"By this definition, non-Catholics, among whom not a few, and 
those the best, especially at this time, are craving a firm basis of 
faith, would find their return to the church rendered difficult, and 
indeed impossible." — "Those who would wish co obey the decrees 
of the Council will find themselves entangled in the greatest diffi- 
culties. Civil governments will consider them (and not without 
the show of probability) to be subjects of doubtful loyalty. Ene- 
mies of the church will not be slow to annoy them by flinging at 
them the errors which popes are said either to have taught, or by 
their actions to have sanctioned, and the only replies which it is 
possible to offer will be received with ridicule." — "The decree, of. 
itself, defines in bulk even-thing that has ever formerly been defined 
in papal instruments. . . . If the definition is admitted, [the pope"] 


on the 14th of May. At the close of exactly three weeks, 
on the 3d of June, while forty-nine bishops were still 
waiting to be heard, all further discussion was abruptly 
interdicted, and the majority of the Council pressed 
forward to the new and hazardous experiment, in the 
Roman-catholic church, of proclaiming as a dogma, to 
be received under pain of eternal damnation, that which 
part of the episcopate did not believe.* 

After some supplementary debate on the details of 
the decree, a private vote was taken, which showed 88 
negative votes ; 61 votes in a qualified affirmative ; and 
91 bishops who abstained from voting, although pres- 
ent in Rome.f 

will have power to decide on temporal dominion, or the extent of 
it, on the power of deposing kings, on the usage of coercing here- 
tics." — "The doctrine of papal infallibility seems to me to have no 
foundation whether in the Holy Scripture or in church tradition. 
Indeed, unless I mistake, Christian antiquity held the contrary doc- 
trine." — " The phraseology of the schema implies the existence, in 
the church, of a double infallibility— that of the church itself and 
that of the pope— which is absurd and unheard-of." — "If I were 
to use the subterfuges which have been used by not a few theolo- 
gians in the case of Honorius, I should make myself a laughing- 
stock. To resort to sophistries seems to me unworthy both of the 
episcopal office and of the nature of the subject, which ought to 
be treated in the fear of God." — "Many of the authorities which 
are quoted in proof of it, even by the most esteemed of the class 
of theologians called ultramontane, are mutilated, falsified, inter- 
polated, garbled, spurious, twisted out of their proper meaning. " — 
"I venture to assert that the opinion [of infallibility] as it lies in 
the schema, is not a doctrine of the faith, and cannot be made 
such by any definition whatever, even definition by a Council." 

* Parts of the speeches of Archbishops Purcell of Cincinnati 
and Conolly of Halifax are given by Quirinus and Lord Acton ; 
and the speech of Archbishop Darboy is given in full in the Ap- 
pendix to Quirinus, pp. 819, 833. Part of the Latin original is 
given by Acton, pp. 118, 119, nole. 

f The names of these 240 bishops are given by Quirinus, pp. 
778-785. A slight discrepancy of figures will be remarked between 
this and the statement in the next note. 


The voters in the negative 1 * it Rome in a body on 
the 17th of July, the day before the public vote was to 
be taken, leaving behind them a sorrowful protest,* in 

* The document is given, in Latin, in Quirinus, pp. 797 7'.'!», 
and is as follows : 

Most Blessed Fatiiki: : In the general congregation held <>n 
the 13th instant, we gave ont votes on the achrma of the first 
dogmatic constitution de EcdesiA GhrlsH. 

Your Holiness is aware that there were 88 fathers who, moved 
by stress of conscience and by love for the holy church, voted by 
the words "non placet," 02 others who voted by the words "plaed 
juxta modum," and finally, about 70 who absented themselves from 
the congregation, and abstained from voting. To these are to be 
added others who, on account of illness or other weighty reasons, 
have returned to their dioc 

For this reason, our votes have been known and manii 
Your Holiness and to all the world, and it has been made plain 
how many bishops approve of onr opinion, and in this way we dis- 
charge the duty and office inoumbenl upon us. 

Since that time, nothing certainly has occurred to change our 
views, but on the other hand many things, and those of the gravest 
character, have taken place, which have settled us in our determi- 
nation. We therefore declare that we renew and confirm our votes 
already given. 

Confirming, then, our votes, by this writing, we have decided 
to absent ourselves from the public session to be holden on the 
18th instant. For that filial piety and reverence which, but a brief 
time since, brought our representatives to Your Holiness' feet, do 
not suffer us, on a question so closely concerning the person of 
Your Holiness, to say "non placet" openly to the pope's face. 

And furthermore, the votes to be given in the solemn session 
would be only a repetition of the votes already elicited in the gen- 
eral congregation. 

Without delay, then, we return to our flocks, where, after so 
long an absence, we are very greatly needed, on account of the 
alarms of war, and especially on account of their extreme spirit- 
ual wants ; lamenting that in consequence of the unhappy circum- 
stances with which we are surrounded, we are likely to find the 
peace and repose of consciences among our believing people bro- 
ken up. 

Commending, meanwhile, with all our heart, the church of 
God and Your Holiness (to whom we profess unfeigned faith and 


the hands of the pope. Two only, one of- whom was 
Bishop Fitzgerald of Little Rock in the United States, 
had the courage to be present at the public session on 
the 18th of July, and boldly give their public votes in 
the negative. 

The new doctrine was promulgated July 18, 1870, 
in the midst of a storm which darkened the church of 
St. Peter's. Within a few hours there burst over 
Europe a storm of war, which stayed not until it had 
swept away the throne of the infallible pope from un- 
derneath him. 

obedience) to the grace and keeping of our Lord Jesus Christ, we 

Your Holiness' most devoted and obedient sons. 
Rome, July 17, 1870. 




Whkn, on the third day of June, 1870, the deb 
of the Council on the main question were suddenly 
silenced, there remained on the list of those who hud 
signified their intention to speak, the names of some 
forty bishops who were still unheard. They were for- 
bidden by the rules of the Council even to print their 
views so much as for private circulation among the 
bishops; and the spiritual prohibition was reinf 
by police arrangements which Locked eyery printing- 
office in Rome against them. An American prelate, 
however, Archbishop Kenrick of St. Louis, refused to 
be thus gagged. Claiming a "divine right to express 
his convictions on this most important question to his 
fellow-bishops," he sent the carefully prepared manu- 
script of his Latin speech to a printer in Naples, where 
under the flag of an excommunicated king, might be 
found that liberty for the bishops of the church which 
was denied them in the States of the Church itself. 

The solid octavo pamphlet of one hundred pages 
which was the result of this enterprise, was distributed 
among the members of the Council with scrupulous 
care, lest, becoming known to outsiders, it might reveal 
with an undeniable mark of authenticity those facts in 
the interior history of the Council, which, when report- 
ed by irresponsible correspondents, it was so easy to 
deny with a show of indignation. Furthermore, that 
fatal forethought with which the opposition, by looking 
out constantly for a line of retreat, had constantly 


weakened their own cause, was an additional motive 
for keeping the speech private. In case its earnest 
arguments should be disregarded or overborne by the 
majority, and the dogma be adopted, it was important 
to keep the bold statements of this "unspoken speech" 
hushed up, in order that the author of it might, if 
worst should come to worst, by-and-by avoid the em- 
barrassment of publicly repudiating his own printed 
words, and of accepting under constraint, what he 
could not be brought to accept by argument. 

It was vain to suppose that documents confiden- 
tially printed in editions of 700 could always be kept 
from the public. One of the copies of this speech has 
come, by a roundabout course, to our hands. For its 
intrinsic ability and its incidental historical value, it is 
entitled to be spread before the public without abridg- 

* Since this translation was written, a second Latin copy of the 
speech has come to hand, in Professor Friedrich's Documenta ad 
illustrandum Concilium YaUeanum. The original having been thus 
made accessible to scholars, we are excused from the necessity of 
cumbering this edition in English with the entire Notes and 
Appendix attached by the author to his work. 







O Timothee, depositum custodi, devitans profanaa 
vooam novitates et oppositiones falsi uominis 
scientiae, quam quidani promittentes circa 
Mem exciderunt. 1 Tim. vi. 20. 21. 

Non super uno Petro veruni super omnes aposto- 
los apostolorumque successorea, Ecclesia Dei 
aediflcatus. pAscHAsirs Radbertus. 

Lib. viii. In Matt. xvi. 













O Timothy, keep that which is committed to 
thy trust, avoiding profaue and vain bab- 
blings, and oppositions of science falsely so 
called, which some professing have erred 
concerning the faith. 1 Tim. 6 : 20, 21. 

Not on Peter only, but on all the apostles 
and their successors, is built the Church 
of God. Paschasius Radbebt. 

Book viii, on Matt. 16. 






The reason why this speech was not delivered, 
although prepared for that purpose, is this — that on 
the third day of June, at the close of the general con- 
gregation, a stop was unexpectedly put to the general 
discussion on the first schema concerning Catholic faith. 
Among forty bishops, more or less, who had entered 
their names as desiring to be heard, was the writer of 
the following. He has deemed best that his divine 
right of expressing his views on this momentous busi- 
ness to his fellow-bishops, and to others who are enti- 
tled to an interest in the Council, should be exercised 
through the press. But he has retained the form of a 
speech, and some matters that would be pertinent only 
in a spoken discourse. 
Eome, June 8, 1870. 


1 Introduction : The occasion of the speech. 

I. The writer's "Observations" vindicated. 

[1. To allege that all the apostles, as well as Peter, are styled 
the foundation, does not impair the argument in favor of the pri- 
macy of the pope. 

2. There is no argument for papal supremacy in John 21 : 16, 17. 

3. The word faith in Luke 22 : 32 means only trust, and there- 
fore yields no argument for infallibility.] 

II. The universal jurisdiction of the apostles still 
continues in the whole body of bishops. 

[The argument of the archbishop of Dublin is suicidal. If the 
promise made to all the apostles is not fulfilled in their successors 
the bishops, then the promise made to Peter does not hold good 
to iris successors in the see of Rome. ] 

III. The scriptural proofs of the primacy of the 
Eoman pontiff brought to the test. 

[1. The primacy of the Roman see is proved by tradition. 

2. It cannot be proved by Scripture : Exegesis of Matt. 16:18, 
10 ; John 21:16, 17 ; Luke 22:32. 

3. Resume of the argument.] 

IY. Views of the late F. P. Kenrick, archbishop of 

V. The assent of "the Church Dispersed." 

[1. The assent has a negative value. 

2. Not sufficient for the definition of new dogmas. 

3. Instance of the bull Unam Sanctam which proclaimed ex 
cathedra the doctrine of the subjection of temporal governments 
to the pope, and had universal assent, but is now generally, though 
not universally, repudiated, ] 

VI. Former views of M. J. Spalding, present arch- 
bishop of Baltimore. 

VII. Speech of the archbishop of Westminster. No 
substantial distinction between doctrine of faith and 
doctrine of the Catholic faith. 


[Distinction between theology and faith. 

Councils are infallible in testifying, not in alleging reasons of 

This distinction has been lost sight of. 

Objection : This argument impeaches the doctrine of the im- 
maculate conception. 

Answer : This doctrine is not defide.] 

VIII. The Infallibility of the Pope has not been 

taught as a doctrine of faith in England, or Ireland, or 

the United States of America. 

[Whether true or false, it never oaa be made an article of faith,* 
even if the Council should define it. 

1. It has never been so tanghf by (he church ; 

2. But has been impugned by her, almost everywh ere but in 
Italy, and especially in England. Jr. -land, and the United Stat. s. 

3. Even by the Pltramontanee it has been tanght only as free 

Instances: "Roman-catholic Principles;" Archbishop Spal- 
ding's Sermons. 

It is mentioned only to disclaim it, when alleged by Protes- 

Testimony of Irish tradition. 

It was solemnly disclaimed when Catholic emancipation was in 

IX. A Case of Conscience. 

X. The "Charisma" of Infallibility. 

XL The addition to the first Decree de Fide, 
[The trick played upon the minority. 
Sinister influences in the Council. 

Conclusion : The precipitation of the question a calamity to 
the church and the world. ] 


A. Second Plenary Council of Baltimore. 

[Undue influence of the papal legate, and tampering with the 
record. ] 

B. The Committee on Faith. 

[Manipulation of Elections. Packing of the Committee. Ser- 
vitude of the Council.] 

Most Eminent Presidents; Most Eminent and 
Eight Reverend Fathers: 

The Most Reverend the Archbishop of Dublin, 
in his speech from this platform, has said some things 
by which my honor is sorely wounded. It was in 
vain that I begged permission of His Eminence the 
president to reply at once, at the close of his speech, 
or at least at the close of that day's general congre- 
gation. Therefore it is that, contrary to my previous 
purpose, I take the floor to-day to speak on the 
schema in general that is offered for our adoption; 
for I had taken for granted that everything pertinent 
to the subject would be more fully and forcibly said 
by others than I could say it. I entreat your par- 
don, most eminent and right reverend fathers, if I 
seem to weary you with a longer speech than I am 
wont to make. I only ask that you will grant me 
that liberty which (as Bossuet says) well becomes a 
bishop addressing bishops in Council, and having 
respect rather to the future than to the present — in 
the confidence that I will not wander from the scope 
of the schema, nor say anything which can give just 
offence to any one — least of all to the most eminent 
the archbishop of Dublin, to whom I acknowledge 
my very great obligations, to whom I have always 
looked up with respect, for these thirty years and 
more, and wliom I hope and trust I shall continue to 
respect to my latest breath. With which preliminary 
words I come to the subject. 


I. The observations numbered one hundred and 
thirty-eight in the synopsis, on which His Eminence 
of Dublin so severely reflects, I acknowledge to be 
mine. I wrote in them nothing but wliat I thought, 
and (except so far as may appear to the contrary 
from the present speech) nothing but what I still 
think. Three points thereof have been attacked in 
terms of special severity by the most reverend ] (rel- 
ate. First, that I said, on page 217, that all the 
other apostles were designated by the same name of 
foundation which was applied to Peter; which seem- 
ed to him to impair the proof of the primacy of the 
Roman pontiff deduced by theologians from that 
word. The blame of this, to be sure, should not be 
laid on me, but on St. Paul and St. John. Rut that 
this was the furthest possible from my intention is 
proved by the words which I used, as follows: "The 
words of Christ, Thou art Peter, etc., certainly show 
that a privilege was conferred by Christ on Peter 
above the other apostles, so that he should be the 
primary foundation of the church ; which the church 
has always acknowledged, by conceding to him the 
primacy both of honor and of jurisdiction." I de- 
nied, indeed, that by virtue of that ward foundation 
the gift of infallibility was conferred upon Peter 
above the other apostles; since no mortal ever 
thought of claiming this privilege for the other apos- 
tles and then successors from the mere fact that they 
too had been honored with the same title of founda- 
tion. I then showed it to be a false inference that 
the stability of the church was derived from the 


strength of the foundation, since Christ had signified 
that he would provide for each of these in some 
other way; that is, in the words, addressed to all 
the apostles, Peter with the rest, "Lo, I am with 
you always, even to the end of the world." It is 
hardly fair to say that by this line of reasoning I 
had either assailed or meant to assail the common 
arguments for the primacy derived from Christ's 
words, " Thou art Peter," etc. But I shall show, by- 
and-by, that the most reverend archbishop himself, 
by the line of reasoning which he adopts in speaking 
of the other apostles, and their successors the bish- 
ops, not only impeaches this argument for the pri- 
macy, but utterly destroys it. 

Secondly, the archbishop of Dublin asserted, 
and that with emphasis, that what I had written 
about John 21 : 10, 17, was not true; to wit, that the 
words lambs and sheep which there occur in the Vul- 
gate version — from the distinction between which, 
by an argument more subtle than solid, some were 
wont to infer that both bishops and simple believers 
are committed to the pastoral care of the Roman 
pontiff as Peter's successor — corresponded to one 
and the same word, -npofiuTLa, in the Greek text ; and 
that therefore the argument was groundless. I can- 
not sufficiently wonder that the most reverend arch- 
bishop should have ventured to put forth such an 
assertion ; especially, as in talking about it, he seemed 
to get the word ^poparta changed for KpojSura. The 
Greek text revised a few years since, in accordance 
with the oldest manuscripts, by Tischendorf, (to 


whom, if I remember correctly, the pope sent a letter 
of approval for the work which, after vast labor, he 
had so successfully accomplished,) shows that I was 
right. I have here the seventh edition, published in 
1859, from which I will read the entire passage, add- 
ing to the successive answers of Christ, the Vulgate 
version of them,* so that you may plainly perceive 
that His Eminence of Dublin lias been affected in this 
matter by some measure of human fallibility. Let 
me add, that on the arch over the pope's throne in 
St. Peter's church, where these verses are displayed 
in Greek, you may read Kpop&na, but not qrfltra. 

In the little work D< Pontificia Inftdtibilitate, almost 
of the same tenor as the Ohs< rvations aforesaid, which 
1 had printed lately at Naples, by a typographical 
error the word wpSpara occurs instead of irpopdna, as it 
was in my manuscript, and as it appears in the Sy- 
nopsis. But, after all, it is a fact that in the Greek 
text of Halm the same word irpopara does correspond 
to both the words, lambs and sheep, in the place cited. 
But the only difference produced by the variation of 
reading is this : In Teschendorf's text there is noth- 
ing whatever to correspond to the word sheep ; for 
npoSuTia means either little lambs or little sheep, but not 
sheep at all. But in the other text, of Halm, the word 
Kpo&ara signifies sheep; notwithstanding which the 
author of the Yulgate version chose to make a vari- 
ation, by rendering the same word irpopara in one case 

* John 21:15. Boone tu upvia fiov — Pasce agnos meos. 

1C. UoiuaivE tu TipopuTiu fiov — Pasce agnos meos. 
17. Boone tu Tzpoi3driu [xov —Pasce oves meas. 


by lambs and in the other by sheep.* My assertion, 
which the archbishop of Dublin over and over again 
declared with such emphasis to be untrue, is shown 
to be absolutely true, whichever of the two readings 
is adopted. As to the Oriental versions cited by His 
Eminence, I do not care to speak, being satisfied to 
have demonstrated the truth of my assertion. But 
from what I shall say by-and-by, it will appear that 
it is of trifling consequence what sense we attribute 
to these words, since I shall easily show that (con- 
trary to what I had said in the Observations) no in- 
ference can be derived from them in support of the 
infallibility, or even of the primacy, of the pope. 

In the third place, the most reverend archbishop 
calls me to account for what I said concerning the 
word faith in Luke 22 : 32 ;f that that word was never 
used by our Lord to mean the system of doctrines, 
(in which sense alone it can afford any ground for an 
argument in support of papal infalhbility,) and not 
more than once or twice to mean that act of super- 
natural virtue with which we believe in God making 
revelation of himself. I asserted that by that word 

[* There is a decree of the Council of Trent in these terms: 
. . . . " The sacred and holy Synod . , . . doth ordain and declare 
that the said old and Vulgate edition .... be, in public lectures, 
disputations, preachings, and expositions, held as authentic ; and 
that no one is to dare or presume to reject it under any pretext 
whatsoever." Act. Cone. Trid., Sess. 4. How Archbishop Kenrick 
justifies himself in rejecting the Vulgate version of this text, in 
favor of the true reading and correct translation, we are not pre- 
pared to say ; but it is probably on the ground that this was not 
intended as a public exposition, but as a private and confidential 
communication to his fellow-bishops. Translator. ] 

f "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." 


(as may be gathered from tlie discourses of the Lord) 
was almost always meant trust or confidena I 
showed that, in the passage cited, the word had this 
sense and no other, holding to the rale that the cus- 
tomary meaning of a word is to be retained, unless 
the context requires a different one — and in the pres- 
ent case the context favors the usual meaning. The 
most reverend archbishop said— perhaps not meas- 
uring the force of his words- that this assertion of 
mine smacked of the Calvinistie heresy ; in proof of 
which he adduced John 11 : 27, the words in which 
Martha professes her belief in Christ, which we arc 
compelled to understand concerning faith in the 

Catholic sense of the word. 

But the excellent bishop did not notice that in 
my Observation the question was not how to define 
the true nature of gracious faith as a "theological 
virtue," but only as to the force of the woi&fatih in 
its customary usage in the discourses of Christ. Out 
of twenty-nine passages in the gospels in which this 
word occurs, (which may be easily seen by consult- 
ing the concordance of the Lathi Bible,) there are 
only two— Matt. 23 : 23,* and Luke 18 : 8t— in which 
the word faith can possibly be taken in the sense of 
the theological virtue of faith. All the other passa- 
ges give the meaning of trust or confidence, ot faith of 
miracles. In Luke 22 : 32,J which is the passage in 

* . . . " The weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, 
and faith. " 

t "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the 

t "I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not." 


question, this seemed, and still seems, to me to be 
proved to be the true meaning, both by the custo- 
mary usage of the word and by the context. And 
the most reverend archbishop has brought forward 
nothing in disproof of this statement.* • 

II. I now proceed to show that the archbishop 
of Dublin, by his course of reasoning, has emptied 
the words, " Thou art Peter," etc., of all the force 
which theologians have commonly thought them to 
contain. He denies that the bishops, as successors 
of the apostles, have that universal jurisdiction in 
the church which the apostles received from Christ ; 
which indeed is true if we speak of the individual 

[* It is pretty clear that Archbishop Cullen took the measure 
of his words more accurately than Archbishop Keurick gives him 
credit for. On the one hand, Kenrick is unmistakably and un- 
answerably right in the definition he gives of the "Word faith as used 
in the gospels. On the other hand, his antagonist is right in 
declaring that this definition smacks of Protestantism. For the 
authorized Roman-catholic definition of faith is the intellectual 
assent to certain dogmas as revealed. Now when Archbishop Ken- 
rick shows that the faith to which our Lord Jesus Christ promised 
eternal life is not that act which the Roman church exacts as the 
condition of salvation, but is really that act of committing oneself 
in trust and confidence to the Saviour, which is set forth by evangel- 
ical preachers as the way of salvation, he does certainly pull out 
one of the foundation stones on which the whole fabric of the 
Romish system is built. 

It is hardly possible to overrate the importance of this point. 
It is a cardinal point in the whole controversy. Grant the Romish 
definition of faith, and the Romish doctrine of justification easily 
follows ; for the mere intellectual receiving of dogmas does of itself 
neither justify nor sanctify. Grant this definition, and the fig- 
ment of an infallible tribunal of dogma, constantly sitting and 
emitting decrees, is necessitated. On the other hand, if the gos- 
pel definition of faith, as stated by Dr. Kenrick, is admitted, the 
gospel system of truth naturally follows. Tkanslatok. ] 


bishops outside of a general council, but is not true 
if understood of the body of bishops, whether in 
council or not. If (he power given to the apostles, 
of preaching the gospel in the whole earth, is to be 
restricted to themselves, although it was given by 
Christ to continue "to the end of the world," it is 
impossible to prove that the privilege, whatever it 
may have been, conferred upon Peter in the words, 
" Thou art Peter," etc., descended to his successors, 
the popes. The argument, therefore, derived from 
these words in Matthew 16:18, 19, falls to the 
ground from the fact that the words of Christ in 
the 28th chapter, verses 18, 20, of the same evan- 
gelist, receive a less literal interpretation; for the 
question, in both passages, is on the power be- 
longing to the sacred ministry, and not on any sign 
of their divine mission, such as working miracles, 
speaking with tongues, or some other such gift. 
Either, then, the whole of this power of the ministry 
passed to their successors, or none of it ; and surely 
this last cannot be said. I have not, therefore, in- 
fringed upon the proof of the primacy from the words, 
"Thou art Peter," etc.; on the contrary, I have 
explicitly acknowledged that proof. But the arch- 
bishop, by denying that the universal jurisdiction 
granted to the apostles has descended to their suc- 
cessors, has done that very thing himself. 

I thus prove that all the ministerial privileges 
granted, whether to Peter or to the rest of the apos- 
tles, have descended to their successors ; making no 
inquiry at present what was the nature of these priv- 


ileges, or by what sort of evidence they are proved 
to have been conferred. 

Whatever belongs to the sacred ministry in the 
church of Christ by the institution of its Founder, 
must belong to it always ; otherwise the church would 
not be such as he instituted it. Therefore those 
privileges granted to the apostles which concern the 
function committed to them, are the same now as 
when they were first conferred. This is equally true 
of those which were given to all, including Peter, and 
of that which was granted to Peter individually. On 
the day of the resurrection, Christ gave commission 
to all the apostles, always including Peter, in the 
words, *'As the Father hath sent me, even so send I 
you," John 20 : 21 ; and afterwards, when he was 
abcut to ascend into heaven, in the words, " Go, 
teach all nations," etc., Matt. 28 : 19, 20. But these 
words, addressed to all, concern them, not as if spo- 
ken to them individually, but to them, as constituting 
:i sort of college of apostles; which is clear from 
the fact that Thomas, though absent when Christ 
appeared to the apostles on the resurrection day, 
received (as all admit) the same commission and the 
same power of remitting sins as the rest. This 
apostolic college is constituted a moral person, which 
is to continue to the end of the world ; whose iden- 
tity is no more diminished by the perpetual succes- 
sion of its members, than our personal identity is 
affected by the constant change of the elements that 
compose our "bodies. Thus it stands ever before 
men a living eye-and-ear witness of those things 


which Christ did and taught; so that it may always 
use the words of John, (1st epistle, 1 : 3,) " What we 
have seen and heard declare we unto von/' What- 
ever power, then, it had at its origin it has now: 
divine commission (" as the Father hath sent me ") 
and universal jurisdiction ("Go, teach all nations") 
must be acknowledged to belong now to the apostol- 
ic college. And if this be denied or even weakened, 
the whole Christian religion falls to the ground. 

From which I infer that the successors of Peter 
and the rest of the apostles, constituting the apos- 
tolic college, have every power now which they bad 
when the college was first instituted by Christ The 
individual bishops, taken singly, receive, by the 
ordinances of the college itself, only an ordinary 
local jurisdiction in their several dioceses. But the 
bishops, taken universally, have a universal jurisdic- 
tion; not in that sense exactly that the universal 
jurisdiction is made up by the sum of the local juris- 
dictions ; but that the bishops universally, whether 
dispersed and separated from each other, or united 
in a general council, constitute the apostolic college. 
Hence the words of Cyprian, " There is one episco- 
pate, an undivided part of which is held by every 
bishop,"" receive light and a ready explanation. If 
the most reverend archbishop of Dublin is not pre- 
pared to admit all this, at least he must confess that 
the several bishops united in General Council have 

[* "Episcopatus tmus est, cujus a singulis in solidum pars 
tenetur." The phrase is one often quoted from the treatise Ik 
Unit., and much disputed as to its rendering. Tr.1 


universal jurisdiction. This jurisdiction the illustri- 
ous archbishop of Nisibis,* at the end of the second 
volume of the French translation of his History of 
General Councils, tries to show is derived by the 
bishops directly from the Holy Ghost, by virtue of 
their consecration, while he refers their local juris- 
diction to the Roman pontiff. But the school of 
theologians to which I adhere considers all episcopal 
jurisdiction to be held by the bishops by immediate 
derivation from Christ, but that the ordinary local 
restriction of it had no other origin than the ordi- 
nance of the church, in due subordination, neverthe- 
less, to the Koman pontiff as the head alike of the 
apostolic college and of the universal church. I say, 
therefore, that the words of Christ spoken to the 
apostles lose none of their force to the successors of 
the apostles ; and in this I lay down nothing which 
tends to weaken the argument which theologians are 
accustomed to deduce from Matt. 16 : 18, in proof of 
the primacy of the Koman pontiff. This argument I 
now proceed to examine. 

III. I beg you so far to indulge me, most emi- 
nent and reverend fathers, as to give me your calm 
attention while I say things which doubtless will not 
be agreeable to many of you. I am not about to 
set forth anything heretical or savoring of heresy, 
(as the remarks of the archbishop of Dublin may 
have led you to fear,) nor anything opposed to the 
principles of the faith, nor anything but what, so 
far as my slender abilities permit, I shall endeavor 

[ * Cardoni, one of the pope's theologians. ] 


to sustain with solid argument. One thing I wish 
to give warning of: I speak for myself only, not for 
others; and I do not know but that what I am about 
to say may give dissatisfaction even to those with 
whom I take sides in the discussion of this question. 
If, in the course of my speech, I happen to speak 
too sharply on any point, remember and imitate the 
example of those leaders who were persuaded to 
patience by the famous saying, "Strike, but hear." 
I shall pav due respect to Their Eminences the mod- 
erators o( the congregation; but I will not be pat 
down by commotions.* 

The primacy of the Roman pontiff, both in honor 
and in jurisdiction, in the universal church, 1 ac- 
knowledge. Primacy, I say, not lordship. Bat that 
the primacy is vested in him as the successor of Pe- 
ter, all the tradition of the church testifies, from the 
beginning. And on the sole strength of this testi- 
mony I accept it as an absolutely certain principle 
and dogma of faith. But that it can be proved from 
the words of Holy Scripture, by any one who would 
be faithful to the rule of interpretation prescribed to 
us in that profession of faith which Ave have uttered 
at the opening of this Council,! and so often on 

[* Motibus aidem non cedam. The fact that the writer, prepar- 
ing his speech in advance, should deem it needful to announce this 
determination, suggests obvious inferences concerning the charac- 
ter of the sessions of the Council, and calls for explanation from 
Archbishop Manning. ] 

[f The "Creed of Pius IV." (see above, p. 73, note) declares: 
"I will never take nor interpret the Holy Scripture except in 
accordance with the unanimous consent of the fathers." Arch- 
bishop Kenrick goes on to say, with truth, that there never is any 


other occasions, I deny. It is true that, following 
the principles of exegesis, I held the opposite view 
when I was writing the Observations which the arch- 
bishop of Dublin has attacked so sharply. But on 
a closer study of the subject, I judge that this inter- 
pretation must be abandoned. My reason for this 
change of opinion is the following : 

The rule of Biblical interpretation imposed upon 
us is this : that the Scriptures are not to be interpret- 
ed contrary to the unanimous consent of the fathers. 
It is doubtful whether any instance of that unanimous 
consent is to be found. But this failing, the rule 
seems to lay down for us the law of following, in 
their interpretation of Scripture, the major number 
of the fathers, that might seem to approach unanim- 
ity. Accepting this rule, we are compelled to aban- 
don the usual modern exposition of the words, " On 
this rock will I build my church." 

In a remarkable pamphlet " printed in facsimile 
of manuscript," and presented to the fathers almost 
two months ago, we find five different interpretations 
of the word rock, in the place cited; "the first of 
which declares" (I transcribe the words) "that the 
church was built on Peter : ' and this interpretation 
is followed by seventeen fathers — among them, by 
Origen, Cyprian, Jerome, Hilary, Cyril of Alexandria, 
Leo the Great, Augustine. 

"The second interpretation understands from 

such unanimous consent. Literally, then, the creed is a vow not 
to receive nor interpret the Scriptures at all — in which sense, there 
is no doubt that it is sometimes fulfilled with great faithfulness 
an 1 consistency. ] 


these words, ' On this rock will I build my church/ 
that the church was built on all the apostles, whom 
Peter represented by virtue of the primacy. And 
this opinion is followed by eight fathers — among 
them, Origen, Cyprian, Jerome, Augustine, Theo- 

" The third interpretation asserts that the words, 
'On this rock/ etc., are to be understood of the 
faith which Peter had professed— that this faith, this 
profession of faith, by which we believe Christ to be 
the Son of the living God, is the everlasting and im- 
movable foundation of the church. This interpreta- 
tion is the weightiest of all, since it is followed by 
forty-four fathers and doctors; among them, from 
the East, are Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Alexandria, 
Chrysostom, Theophylact; from the West, Hilary, 
Ambrose, Leo the Great ; from Africa, Augustine. 

"The fourth interpretation declares that the 
words, ' On this rock/ etc., are to be understood of 
that rock which Peter had confessed, that is, Christ — 
that the church was built upon Christ. This inter- 
pretation is followed by sijctcot fathers and doctors. 

" The fifth interpretation of the fathers under- 
stands by the name of the rock, the faithful them- 
selves, who, believing Christ to be the Son of God, 
are constituted living stones out of which the church 
is built." 

Thus far the author of the pamphlet aforesaid, 
in which may be read the words of the fathers and 
doctors whom he cites. 

From this it follows, either that no argument at 


all, or one of the slenderest probability, is to be de- 
rived from the words, " On this rock will I build my 
church," in support of the primacy. Unless it is 
certain that by the rock is to be understood the apos- 
tle Peter in his own person, and not in his capacity 
as the chief apostle speaking for them all, the word 
supplies no argument whatever, I do not say in proof 
of papal infallibility, but even in support of the pri- 
macy of the bishop of Kome. If we are bound to 
follow the majority of the fathers in this thing, then 
we are bound to hold for certain that by the rock 
should be understood the faith professed by Peter, 
not Peter professing the faith. And here I must be 
allowed to bring forward a signal example of a less 
ingenuous interpretation, presented in the little vol- 
ume lately published here at Kome, by an excep- 
tional privilege, by the reverend archbishop of Edes- 
sa, which, by the leave of that venerable man, I 
wish to speak of ; for in a matter of this importance 
we are bound to use the plainest words, if they are 
but true. The book is commended by a squad of 
eleven eminent theologians under the command of 
the learned Father Perrone, to the supreme pontiff, 
by whose permission, doubtless, it is excepted from 
the rule which prevents the bishops from communi- 
cating their views to each other through the press, 
unless they are willing to get the use of the press 
somewhere else than in Home. 

The two principal interpretations, which under- 
stand by the rock Peter, and Peter's faith, having 
been cited, and the observation being made that the 


former was common before the Arian heresy, but 
that the other gained ground afterwards on account 
of the rise of the controversy on the divinity of 
Christ, the most reverend author proceeds -with Ids 
lucubration in the following words, pp. 7 and 8 : 

"But it will be obvious to any one who will take 
the following things into consideration, how mutually 
consistent are both these expositions of the gospel 
text. For the establishment and preservation of 
unity, Christ sets the person of Peter and his succes- 
sors in the primacy, as the centre, that all believers 
might be conjoined at once in unity of faith and of 
fellowship. But since unity consists not only in the 
fellowship of all belieyers, but especially in the one- 
ness of faith, which is greater than fellowship, it was 
absolutely necessaiy both that the foundation of the 
ecclesiastical structure should be laid, and that the 
centre of unity should be established, not in the 
mere person of Peter, but also in the faith which he 
preached. For if the foundation of the church were 
laid only in the person of Peter, and not also in the 
solidity of his faith, then, the faith of Peter failing, 
the unity of the church would be lost, and a plural- 
ity of churches would be formed upon the variation 
in the profession of faith. If therefore Christ wished 
the church to be one, in the unity of faith and fel- 
lowship ; if, in order to the perpetual preservation of 
this unity, he set the person of Peter in the relation 
of foundation and centre, it behooved him also to set 
Peter's most solid faith, which he professed and 
preached, as the foundation ; otherwise he would not 


have attained the end wliich lie had set before 
himself in establishing the church. Wherefore, 
since both Peter's person and the faith which he 
preached are the foundation of the church, it is clear 
that that same rock-like firmness which is the glory 
of Peter's person is also to be ascribed to his faith, 
lest, without it, the whole building should tumble. 
Therefore both expositions of these words of Christ 
are happily in accordance with his intention in found- 
ing the church, and one of them serves to throw light 
on the other. Therefore the fathers of the earlier 
centuries, applying these words to the person of Pe- 
ter, not only do not exclude the second interpreta- 
tion, but by implication presume it ; for, admitting 
the person of Peter to be the immovable foundation- 
rock of the whole structure of the church, they are 
bound by implication to admit at the same time his 
faith also as standing in the same relation of founda-^ 
tion; since identity of faith is the foundation of the 
unity of the whole building. On the other hand, 
they who hold that Peter's faith is the rock laid by 
Christ for the foundation of the church, do not ex- 
clude Peter's person, but only teach more explicitly 
in what way Peter is to be understood as the reck 
and foundation of the church. Hence there are 
several of them who give both expositions, as may 
be seen in St. Augustine." 

To say nothing of the fact that the author takes 
for granted, in these observations, the thing in ques- 
tion, namely, that Christ founded his church on Pe- 
ter's personal faith, and that a consequence of this 


is the infallibility of Peter's successors, I remark 
only on one point. Out of the passages of the fathers 
which he quotes through six or seven pages, there 
are many which are capable of being understood 
either of Peter professing his faith, that is, of Peter's 
subjective faith, or of the faith professed by Peter, 
that is, of Peter's -faith taken objectively. But to 
make his argument good for anything, the author 
had to prove that the fathers cited by him spoke of 
the subjective and not the objective faith of Peter — 
which he has quite neglected to do. 

It seems to me, after some thought upon the 
diversity of interpretations, that they may all be 
resolved into one, by taking into consideration the 
distinction between the foundation on which a house 
is built, and the foundation which is laid in the build- 
ing of it. The builder of a house, especially if it is 
to be a great house, and to stand a long time, begins 
with digging down until he comes, as the phrase 
goes, "to the live rock;" and on this he lays the 
foundations, that is, the first course of the building. 
If we admit this double meaning of foundation, all 
the diversity of interpretations disappears ; and many 
passages of Scripture, which at first might seem dif- 
ficult to reconcile with each other, receive great light. 
The natural and primary foundation, so to speak, of 
the church, is Christ, whether we consider his per- 
son, or faith in his divine nature. The architectural 
foundation, that laid by Christ, is the twelve apostles, 
among whom Peter is eminent by virtue of the pri- 
macy. In this way we reconcile those passages of 


the fathers, which understand him on this occasion, 
(as in the instance related in John 6, after the dis- 
course of Christ in the synagogue of Capernaum,) to 
have answered in the name of all the apostles, to a 
question addressed to them all in common ; and in 
behalf of all to have received the reward of con- 

In this explanation of the word rod; the primacy 
of Peter is guarded, as the primary ministerial foun- 
dation; and the fitness of the words of Paul and 
John is guarded, when they call all the apostles by 
the common title of the foundation ; and the truth 
of the expression used with such emphasis by Paul, 
is guarded : " Other foundation can no man lay than 
that is laid, even Christ Jesus," 1 Cor. 3:2; and the 
adversaries of the faith are disarmed of the weapon 
which they have so effectively wielded against us, 
when they say that the Catholics believe the church 
to be built, not on Christ, but on a mortal man ; and 
(a matter of no small account in the present discus- 
sion) the underpinning is taken out from the argu- 
ment which the advocates of the infallibility of the 
pope by himself alone are wont to derive from a 
figurative expression of doubtful meaning — riding 
the metaphor to death — to prove that he received 
from Christ an authority not only supreme, but ab- 
solute. But whatever may be thought of this opin- 
ion of mine, it is obviously impossible to deduce from 

* S. Hieeonymus, in Matt. 16 : 15, 10. S. Augustinus, Enarr. 
in Psa. 108, n. 1. Idem, in Joannis Evangelium, 118, n. 4. S. Am- 
brosius, in Psa. 38 : 37. 


the words, "Thou art Peter," etc., a peremptory 
argument in proof even of the primacy.* 

As to the other words of Christ to Peter, "Feed 
my lambs," and " Feed my sheep," it may be said 
that by that threefold commission Christ showed 
that Peter had not fallen, by liis threefold denial, 
from the privilege by which lie had been called to 
partnership with the apostles; and that this was 
continued to him in reward for the greater love he 
bore towards his Lord above the rest. As August ine 
says, "The triple confession answers to the triple 
denial, so that his tongue might give no less service 
to his love than to his fear, and so that impending 
death should not seem to have drawn out more from 
him than present life."* The argument adduced by 
Bellarmine, that the words "my sheep"' and "my 
kimbs" include the whole flock of Christ, and there- 
fore show that the power conferred by them extends 
to all, proves nothing at all. For they are no more 
general, nor do they any more express the idea of 
government, than those which Paul addressed to the 
elders at Miletus collectively : " Take heed to your- 
selves and to aV theflock\ over which the Holy Ghost 
hath made you bishops, to rulej (Troiuaimv) the church 

* After the above had been sent to the printer, I happened on 
n passage in Paschasius Radbert, which expresses the same idea in 
advance of me: "Licet super eodem fundamento primus ac si ca- 
put Petrus recte positus credatur, tamen in ea petra de qua nome.i 
sibi ex dono traxit, et super earn tota construitur, et constabilitu; 
ilia ccelestis Jerusalem, id est, super Christum, ut linn a 
in asternuni." Expos, in Matt., lib. 8, ch. 16. 

f In Joann. E vang. , ch. 123, n. 5. 

X Vulgate, Universo gregi. § Vuhjate, Regere. 


of God which he hath purchased with his own blood." 
Acts 20 : 28 * 

That the words, " I have prayed for thee," etc., 
do not have the sense commonly attributed to them, 
but are to be understood of Peter's fall at the time 
of the passion, and his subsequent conversion, I 
have tried to show in my Observations. t " This in- 

* See S. Basil., Constit. Monastic, ch. 22, n. 5. S. Augustin., 
De Agone Christ iano, ch. 30. 

f The following is an extract from the Observations alluded to: 
• ' Neither is there any more value as a proof of papal inerran- 
cy in those words of Christ to Peter (Luke 22 : 31, 32) in which 
the advocates of this opinion think to find their main argument. 
Considering the connection in which Christ uttered them, and the 
words which he proceeded to address to all the apostles, it does 
not appear that any gift pertaining to the government of the 
church was then granted or promised to Peter, much less that the 
gift of inerrancy in the government of it was declared to him. It 
was a warning by which the Lord exhorted him to overcome the 
impending temptation to which he was going to be exposed, and 
at the same time an intimation that after his fall he should be con- 
verted and strengthen the rest of the apostles. Christ prayed 
therefore for Peter, who, as he was distinguished above the other 
apostles in his work, was sought above the rest to be sifted by Sa- 
tan, and was foreseen to be above the rest liable to lapse. Christ 
prayed for him that his faith might not fail —that is, that he might 
not wholly or for ever lose that trust by which thus far he had 
clung to Christ ; and that after his fall, coming to himself again, 
that is, being converted, he should add courage to the rest. This 
Peter did after the Lord's resurrection, when he announced the 
fact to the other disciples, as appears from the words, ' The Lord 
is risen indeed, and hath appeared unto Peter.' Luke 24:«3i. The 
words of Christ, then, are to be understood, not of faith as a body 
of doctrine, in which sense it is never used by the Lord ; nor yet 
of faith, the theological virtue by which we believe in God, in 
which sense it occurs in his discourses no more than once or twice, 
but of that trust by which, thus far, he had clung to him as a 
Master. And if a few of the early intei-preters, and the crowd of 
the moderns, have understood these words differently, and have 
found them to contain the conferring upon Peter of the office of 


terpretation," says the author of the pamphlet printed 
in facsimile, "is one of great reputation and author- 
ity, given by forty-four fathers and doctors both of the 
most ancient and of later times." For so the words 
were understood through the first six centuries of the 
church. The fact that they afterwards received an- 
other meaning, seems to have grown out of the com- 
mon usage of ecclesiastical writers, of interpreting 
the words of Scripture in an accommodated sense 
instead of the literal sen 

In addition to the remarks on this subject is my 
Observations, I take pleasure in adding some tilings 
which seem to confirm my view of the meaning of' 
Christ's words. From the fact that the Saviour, 
after speaking to all the apostles and informing them 
that Satan had sought them, to sift them as wheat, 
turns then to Peter with the words, "I have prayed 
for tltee" — which must necessarily be understood of 
him alone, to the exclusion of the rest, since, after 
being converted, he was to strengthen the others — it 
is inferred that some peculiar thing was promised to 
Peter in these words. In fact this is true, but some- 
thing considerably different from the extraordinary 
gift commonly understood to have been promised to 
Peter in them. 

Can it be said that Christ prayed for Peter alone, 
but that he provided no safeguard for the others, 
about to encounter so great a peril ? How then does 

confirming in the faith his brethren, that is, the rest of the apos- 
tles and their successors the bishops, this does not impose upon 
other people any necessity of abandoning the simple and literal 
meaning. " 


it come to pass that the others stood firm, unsus- 
tained by any extraordinary assistance, while Peter, 
for whom singly Christ prayed, so grievously fell? 
The true reason why the Saviour addressed the words 
to him alone seems to be this : He prayed indeed for 
all, as we cannot but take for granted. But to Peter 
he intimated, by directing his words exclusively to 
him, (just as, after Peter's answer in verse 33, he 
proceeded to say it more plainly in verse 34,) that 
he would deny his Master. Thus he warned him of 
his approaching fall, and foretold his conversion, and 
that by him the rest were to be confirmed. The 
Lord's words so understood give a clear sense. Be- 
side the repeated warning given to Peter, they con- 
tain the prophecy of his conversion; so that when 
Peter, having come to himself, clearly recollected it, 
it left no doubt in his* mind of the pardon which he 
should obtain, and thus saved him, it may be, from 
despair in view of his most grievous sin. 

Besides, the successive words addressed by 
Christ to Peter cannot be understood of his succes- 
sors without involving an extraordinary absurdity. 
The words, ""When thou art converted," certainly re- 
fer to Peter's conversion. If the foregoing words, " I 
have prayed for thee," and the following, " Strength- 
en thy brethren," prove that the Divine assistance 
and the office have descended to his successors, it 
does not appear why the intermediate words, " when 
thou art converted," should not belong to them too, 
and in some sense be understood of them.* 

[* There is an extremely telling stroke of covert sarcasm here, 


In saying these things, I am not greatly affected 
by the accusation lately levied against me, without 
mentioning my name, by the right reverend bishop 
of Elphin (treading in tin* footsteps of the archbishop 
of Dublin) when he gave vent to his grief of heart 
that there should be any among the bishops who 
would not scrapie to take the texts of Holy Scripture 
and other citations in proof of papal infallibility, and 
interpret them in the sense accepted by heretics! 
"If these things," said that excellent man, "are 
done in the green tree, what shall be done in the 
dry?" My answer to him and to others is this: 
Following the example of Iremens, Tertnllian, Au- 
gustine, and Vincent of Leans, 1 believe that the 
proofs of the Catholic faith are to be sought rather hi 
tradition than in the interpretation of the Scriptures.* 
" Interpretation of Scripture, '* says Tertullian, " is 
better adapted to befog the truth than to demon- 
strate it." Of the testimonies derived from tradition, 
there are some which, I think, will have to be given 
up ; as in the phrase of Iremcus on the superior 
authority which he is commonly thought to have 

as well as a substantial argument. It is more than implied that if 
the words impute to the popes Peter's commission and Peter's 
grant of divine grace, they must impute to them also Peter's con- 
version and therefore Peter's apostasy. It was quite unnecessary 
for the author to do more than suggest to his intended audience, that 
the popes might perhaps succeed better in vindicating their succes- 
sion to Peter by the signs of apostasy than by the signs of grace. ] 
[* This frank and unreserved acknowledgment would perhaps 
hardly have been made in a document intended for the promiscu- 
ous public. But it is sustained by weighty authorities in Roman 
theology. Some of these may be found cited by Lord Acton, 
p. 101] 


claimed for the Roman church. But I have taken 
the responsibility of this concession, alleging sub- 
stantial reasons, which ought to be met, not with 
abuse, but with other reasons. 

It has seemed to me that nice refinements upon 
figures of speech had better be laid aside ; but I 
have appealed to the faith of the Councils and the 
fathers, which shows that such subtleties do not 
agree with the ancient doctrine and practice of the 
church universal, but rather contradict them. This 
method of reasoning is better fitted for bringing 
back Protestants into the bosom of the church, than 
arguments the very principles of which they reject ; 
and which, although they may seem impregnable to 
less intelligent Catholics, nevertheless are proved by 
the experience of the last three centuries to be ill 
adapted for putting an end to controversies. 

I close this part of my speech with a brief sum- 
ming up of the argument : 

We have in the Holy Scriptures perfectly clear 
testimonies of a commission given to all the apostles, 
and of the divine assistance promised to all. These 
passages are clear, and admit no variation of mean- 
ing. "We have not even one single passage of Scrip- 
ture, the meaning of which is undisputed, in which 
anything of the kind is promised to Peter separately 
from the rest. And yet the authors of the schema 
want us to assert that to the Koman pontiff as Pe- 
ter's successor is given that power which cannot be 
proved by any clear evidence of holy Scripture to 
have been given to Peter himself except just so far 


as he received it in common with the other apostlt s; 
and which being claimed for him separately from the 
rest, it would follow that the divine assistance prom- 
ised to them was to be communicated only through 
him, although it is clear from the passages cited that 
it was promised to him only in the same manner 
and in the same terms as to all the others. I admit 
indeed, that a great privilege was granted to Peter 
above the rest; but I am led to this conviction by 
the testimony, not of the Scriptures, but of all Chris- 
tian antiquity. By the help of this testimony it 
appears that he is infallible; but on this condition, 
that he should use the counsel of his brethren, and 
should lie aided by the judgment of those who are 
his partners in this supreme function, and should 
speak in their name, of whom he is head and mouth. 
And yet there is no one but sees how far tins privi- 
lege falls short of the desires of those who, not with- 
out abuse of their opponents that stand in the old 
paths of the church, desire that the papal power, 
great by its divine origin, and since that, in the 
course of ages, enormously augmented, should be 
the sole power in the church.'' 

* In his Letter to the Archbishop of Paris, dated October 24, 
1865, the pope claims for himself the ordinary power in the partic- 
ular dioceses. In the schema De Romano Pontlfice it is said that 
he has ordinary and immediate jurisdiction in the universal 
church. Since this is said without making any distinction be- 
tween ordinary or episcopal power and ordinary patriarchal or 
primatial power, it would seem to follow that the pope is actually 
ordinary or bishop of each several diocese of the Christian world. 
According to the author of the book On the Roman Curia, who 
lived at Rome for fifteen years, the pope is the exclusive ordinary 
of all the missions under the sacred congregation de Propaganda 


IV. At the opening of his speech, the archbishop 
of Dublin spoke in terms of the highest praise of 
an English work by my late brother archbishop of 
Baltimore, on "The Primacy of the Apostolic See;" 
for which I made due acknowledgments. But in the 
course of his speech it appeared to me that his com- 
memoration of the dead was a reproach to the liv- 
ing ; for he related how that thirty } T ears ago, more 
or less, he learned by the reading of it, that the do- 
ings of the Sixth Council in the condemnation of 
Honorius were nowise opposed to the notion of pa- 
pal infallibility. The most reverend the present arch- 
bishop of Baltimore afterwards made honorable men- 
tion of him, and quoted somewhat from his dog- 
matic theology, from which it might appear that 
there was no difference between the opinion which 
he himself so stoutly defends, and that which, in my 
letter to him, I asserted to have been my brother's 

Fide, so that there is no difference between vicars apostolic and 
the titular bishops set over those missions, except that the latter 
are ordinary and the former extraordinary vicars of the pope. Die 
Romische Curie. Bangen. Munster, 1854. Page 2G3. After the 
Concordats have been done away, which will not be long after the 
infallibility of the pope is established, all episcopal sees will be 
at the disposal of the pope alone, ad nutum ; and thenceforth all 
bishops will be vicars of the pope, liable to be removed at his 
nod— ad nutum ejus. Thus the church, from which civil society 
borrowed the form of representative government to which it owes 
the rights it has acquired, will exhibit an example of absolutism, 
both in doctrine and administration, carried to the highest pitch. 
A right reverend orator said, no long time since, that the papal 
power is, in government, absolute indeed, but not arbitrary ; be- 
cause it is always guided by reason — which evidently implies that 
the pope is impeccable. In fact, this is necessarily inferred from 
his infallibility ; for infallibility is a quality of the intellect, and 
the intellect is affected by the character. 

Vatican Council. (3 


opinion. I have a few things to say of each of these 

I might prefer a serious complaint against the 
archbishop of Baltimore for having presented in a 
garbled and mutilated form, from this rostrum, the 
passage which has lately so often been brought be- 
fore the public. My brother's complete sentence is 
as follows: 

" On the other hand, that way of speaking is not 
to be approved, according to which the pope is de- 
clared to be infallible of himself alone; for scarcely 
any Catholic theologian is known to have claimed 
for him as a private teacher the privilege of iner- 
rancy. Neither as pope is lie alone, since to him 
teaching, the college of bishops <j;ives its adhesion, 
which, it is plain, has always happened." 

Thus far the archbishop of Baltimore quotes. 
The words immediately following on these he thinks 
best to omit, although, as will at once be manifest, 
they are absolutely necessary to the full expression 
of the writer's meaning : 

" But no orthodox writer would deny that pontifi- 
cal definitions accepted by the college of bishops, 
whether in council or in their sees, either by sub- 
scribing decrees, or by offering no objection to them, 
have full force and infallible authority." 

These words leave no doubt of the mind of the 
writer. Hereafter they should not be omitted when 
the previous sentence is quoted, lest a false impres- 
sion of his sentiments be conveyed. 

It is clear that this is no chance utterance of his 


opinion, from what he says in that English work of 
his from the reading of which his eminence the arch- 
bishop of Dublin testified that he had derived such 
great profit. I read from the work itself belonging 
to the library of the English college in this city. I 
give a closely literal Latin version, lest I weaken the 
force of it by being ambitious of elegance : 

[The extract, as it here follows, is from the original Eng- 

" The personal fallibility [of the pope] in his pri- 
vate capacity, writing or speaking, is freely conceded 
by the most ardent advocates of papal prerogatives ; 
but his official infallibility ex cathedra is strongly 
affirmed by many :* while some, as the French As- 
sembly of 1682, contend that his judgment may ad- 
mit of amendment, as long as it is not sustained by 
the assent and adhesion of the great body of bish- 
ops. Practically there is no room for difficulty, 
since all solemn judgments hitherto pronounced by 
the pontiff have received the assent of his colleagues ; 
and in the contingency of a new definition it should 
be presumed by the faithful at large that it is' cor- 

V. Before proceeding to other points, I feel 
bound to say that I do not agree in all respects with 
my brother's opinion, which, I am aware, is the com- 
mon opinion of theologians. The assent of the church 

[* In a foot-note, the writer here presses additional charges of 
misquotation, which it seems unnecessary to reproduce here. ] 

f Kenrick. Primacy of the Apostolic See, Philadelphia, 1845, 
p. 357, 


dispersed, as the phrase is, I consider to ha 
negative rather than a positive authority. The 
church, whether dispersed or assembled in Council, 
can not assent to any error that contradicts revealed 
truth ; otherwise, the gates of hell might be said to 
have prevailed against it. Nevertheless it has the 
divine assistance, in those things alone which were 
taught by Christ to the apostles, all which things — 
that is, all revealed truth — " all things whatsoever 
I have told you" — the Holy Spirit brought to their 
recollection by illuminating their minds with his own 
divine light (for this is the end to which he 
rather than by revealing new things. In order that 
the apostles and their successors may bear testimony 
of these things as ear-witnesses, it is necessary that 
they should be unable to approve, even by silence, of 
any opinion contradictory to them. 

But when the question is on a new definition of 
faith, I consider that a Council which truly repre- 
sents the church universal is of necessity required. 
For it is there alone that inquiry can be made, in 
case any doubt should arise. In certain matters 
only, and in these only under favorable circum- 
stances, may silence be taken for assent ; but not in 
all matters, especially when dissent might turn out 
to be either useless or perilous. Take the present 
controversy, for example. If the pope had thought 
fit to define himself as infallible in the sense of the? 
schema, there would have been no opportunity given 
for the great investigation which we have seen insti- 
tuted, now that the Council is convened and the 


bishops assembled, affording light and courage to 
each other. Yery few of those who have stood out 
so stoutly against the new definition, in the most 
difficult circumstances, would have ventured to resist 
the pope, or, if they had had the courage for that, 
would have known where to lay their hands on 
weapons fit and effective for the protection of their 
rights, so gravely imperilled. 

A signal instance in proof that the silence of the 
church is not, at least in all cases, to be taken for 
consent, is supplied by the history of the opinion 
concerning the power of the Roman pontiff against 
realms not subject to his government. For four cen- 
turies after the bull Unam Sandam* this opinion 
prevailed. I am not aware that any document is 
extant which shows that there was any remonstrance 
against it except on the part of persons who suffered 
some damage from it ; and these must be considered 
as having demurred not so much to the power as to 
the exercise of it to their injur} r . From the fulmina- 
tion of the bull of Boniface VIII., down to the 
beginning of the seventeenth century — for four whole 
centuries — this definition of the papal power seems 
to have been in force, and was said even by the most 
learned theologians of the seventeenth century to be 
matter of faith. I once used to think that the lan- 
guage of the bull Unam Sandam was capable of 
being reconciled with the view I then held of papal 
infallibility. But I do not now think so. It used to 
seem to me a special act of divine providence which 

[* Fulminated a. d. 1302.] 


had kept the pope from declaring all mankind to be 
subject to him in temporals, by reason of sin ; but on 
more mature reflection I saw that this explanation 
was a mere subterfuge, utterly unworthy of an 
honest man. "Words derive their meaning from 
the intent of the speaker and the acceptation of the 
hearers. No man can deny that the purpose of 
Boniface in that bull was to claim for himself tem- 
poral power, and to propound this opinion to the 
faithful, to be held under pain of damnation. No 
man can deny that the words of the bull were 
received in this sense by all then living. If it was 
withstood by the subjects of Philip the Fair, these 
were extremely few in number compared to the whole 
of Christendom, for it was only a little part of modern 
France that was under his sceptre, and these few 
may be considered as having opposed rather the 
exercise of the power than its divine right. The 
church, then, through all that period seems to have 
approved by its assent the bull Unara Sanctum, 
hardly a single bishop having objected to it. 

But at the present time the opinion so solemnly 
enunciated in that bull is repudiated by all, not 
excepting even the most ardent -advocates of papal 
infallibility. I summon certainly a most unimpeach- 
able witness in this case, namely, his grace the most 
reverend Martin John Spalding, archbishop of Balti- 
more, who, in a work (of which I shall have more 
particular occasion to speak hereafter) printed at 
Baltimore in 1866, after three other editions of the 
same had been exhausted and this fourth edition 


bad been issued to meet tbe demand of tbe faithful, 
speaks as follows : 

"But tbe papacy invested itself with temporal 
power ; and in the middle ages it claimed tbe right 
to depose princes, and to absolve their subjects from 
the oath of allegiance. Be it so ; what then ? Was 
this accession of temporal power ever viewed as an 
essential prerogative of the papacy? Or was it not 
considered merely as an accidental appendage, the 
creature of peculiar circumstances? Are there any 
examples of such alleged usurpations during the first 
ten centuries of its history? Has this power been 
exercised, or even claimed, by the Koman pontiffs 
for the last three centuries ? If these two facts are 
undoubted — as they certainly are — then how main- 
tain that a belief in the papacy involves a recognition 
of its temporal power ? The latter was never, cer- 
tainly, a doctrine of the church. If it was, where is 
the proof ? — where the church definition that made 
it a doctrine?" Five leading Catholic universities 
(Sorbonne, Louvain, Douay, Alcala, and Salamanca) 
when officially called on by Mr. Pitt, prime minister 
of Great Britain, (1788,) solemnly and unanimously 
disclaimed this opinion and maintained the contrary. 
Did the Catholic church, did the popes, ever rebuke 
them for the disclaimer ? Do not Catholics all over 

* Here the author is certainly mistaken. It does not require 
a definition to constitute a doctrine. It is enough that there 
should be truth divinely revealed, and propounded as such to the 
faithful by the ordinary magistery of the church. But that power 
was propounded as a doctrine by Boniface VIII., when he declared 
that it must be held by all "sub salutis dispendio." Furthermore, 
Suarez has it for a defined doctrine. 


the world now almost unanimously disclaim it ? arid 
are they the less Catholic for this? I fearlessly 
assert — and I do so advisedly — that there are xw\ 
few Catholics at the present day who do not reject 
this opinion; that there are still fewer who maintain 
it; and that it is not defended, at least publicly,'"' 
even in Rome itself.! - " 

The tacit assent of the bishops, therefore, for no 
less than four centuries, did not have the effect to 
constitute the opinion of the power of the popes in 
temporals into a doctrine of the Catholic faith, which 
is obvious of itself, since otherwise the rejection of it 
now would be equivalent to defection from the unity 
of the Catholic church. 

In this opinion two things are to be distinguished : 
the power itself, and the reason of the power. The 
power itself lmd its ground in circumstances; and 
for the most part it tended to the public good. The 
reason of the power was not, as the popes asserted, 
divine authority, divinely granted to them as holding 
the primacy in the church ; but it originated in cir- 
cumstances, by the consent of Christendom. It was 
recognized by public law, and was, so far, legitimate. 
It was vested in the popes, not because as popes 
they had received it from Christ, but because there 
was no one else who could exercise it at that time, 
when the need for it arose. In ascribing it to the 
ordinance of God, the popes were laboring under 

* The expression is too incautious. 

f Lectures on the Evidences of Catholicity. By ft£ J. Spald- 
ing, D. D. , Archbishop of Baltimore. Fourth edition, 1866, pp. 
377, 378. 


something of human infirmity — a fact with which it 
would be unjust to reproach them. That it has now 
fallen into desuetude is admitted by all. Few per- 
sons think of it as a thing possible to be revived ; 
although this may not be impossible, if the pope is 
to be held infallible, and if we may put confidence in 
the words of the most reverend archbishop of West- 
minster, in a speech delivered by him at London some 
years ago, before his promotion to the episcopate. 

This distinguished man asserted in that speech — 
if I remember correctly what I read in the newspa- 
pers, and I certainly am not mistaken as to the 
substance of it — that the pope, as Christ's vicege- 
rent, ought to be a king ; and that the fact of his 
having been for centuries without secular dominion 
was no argument against this assertion, for he had 
always possessed the right to it. If this is true, 
(which I vehemently deny) it follows that the pope 
possesses not only the petty domain of his Roman 
territory, but a sort of universal right over the whole 
world. Since Christ is king of kings, the pope, who 
as his representative ought to be a king (according 
to the archbishop of Westminster,*) ought to repre- 

[* The opinions of Abp. Manning, as the representative and 
leader of the now victorious party in the Roman Catholic church, 
are of some interest to American citizens. A more recent utter- 
ance of his is quoted by Quirinus (p. 832) from a sermon of his in 
1869. Speaking in the pope's name, he says : "I claim to be the 
supreme judge and director of the consciences of men ; of the 
peasant that tills the field, and the prince that sits on the throne ; 
of the household that lives in the shade of privacy, and the legis- 
lature that makes laws for kingdoms— I am the sole last supreme 
judge of what is right and wrong."] 



sent him throughout the whole realm of Christ him- 
self : that is, throughout the entire world. We know 
what a happy talent for drawing inferences, even out 
of figures of speech, is shown by the advocates of 
papal authority. What if they have for a premise 
so pregnant a principle as this of the archbishop of 
Westminster ? It can be no more of an objection to 
this right that for a number of centuries it was never 
claimed, than that for many centuries from the be- 
ginning it was not possessed, and even that no one 
dreamed of its belonging to the pope. I rein- to this 
not to excite prejudice Against this eminent man, but 
in order to show him that the consequence which 
necessarily follows from a principle evidently errone- 
ous, the falsity of which I shall try to prove in the 
course of this speech — a consequence which he him- 
self would reject — ought to make him cautious not to 
know more than it is worth while to know about 
papal infallibility. 

For these reasons I am compelled to differ from 
what is at least a common way of speaking, when 
the question rises about denning some new dogma of 
the Catholic faith. It is my opinion that this can 
not be done without a Council truly representing the 
church universal. 

I now return to the subject, with which, after all, 
what I have said is by no means disconnected. 

VI. There is no great difference, if perchance 
there is any, between my brother's opinion and that 
expressed by the most reverend Martin John Spal- 
ding, archbishop of Baltimore, in his History of the 


Reformation ; from the fifth edition of which, revised 
by the author and published at Baltimore in 1866, I 
quote the following, which I translate into Latin with 
the same fidelity as I did my brother's language. I 
premise that it had first appeared twenty-six years 
before, and that it was originally written in reply to 
the History of the Reformation by D'Aubigne. This 
book is to be found in the hands of almost all the 
Catholics in the United States, not only on account 
of the amount of information which it contains and 
the familiar style in which it is written, but also on 
account of the high esteem in which the author is 
held among us, as the occupant of the primatial 
see, and as a man of wide celebrity for learning and 
genius. This fifth edition appeared in the same year 
in which he drew up, in the name of the Council of 
Baltimore, a letter to the pope, from which both he 
and others would have it inferred that the bishops of 
the United States favor the designs of the infallibil- 
ists. * It is contained in the library of the American 
College in this city, having been presented by the 
author, with his name in it in his own handwriting, 
in 1867, when he was at Rome ; on which occasion 
he, with the other bishops, signed a letter to the 
pope, surely with no intention of settling or enunci- 
ating a doctrine, but only of manifesting their own 
veneration and affection towards the pope. The 
archbishop of Baltimore's words are as follows : 

" In what, in fact, consists the difference between 
the authoritative teaching of the first body of Christ's 
ministers, the apostles, and that body of pastors who 


by divine commission succeeded them in the office of 
preaching, teaching, and baptizing, and who hi the 
discharge of these sacred duties were promised the 
divine assistance all days, even to the consummation 
of the world? And if the latter was opposed to 
rational liberty, why was not the former ? Besides, 
we learn, for the first time, that the Eoman Chan- 
cery* decided on articles of faith. AVe had always 

thought that this was THE EXCLUSIVE PROVINCE OF 

General Councils, and when they were not in ses- 
sion, of the Eoman pontiffs with the CONSENT OB 
ACQUIESCENCE of the body of bishops dibpbbbed over 
thi: would. We had also in our simplicity believed 
that even these did not always decide on contro- 
verted points, but only in cases in which the teaching 
of revelation was clear and explicit; and that in 
other matters they wisely allowed a reasonable lati- 
tude of opinion. But D'Aubigne has taught us 
better ! He would have us to believe that Eoman 
Catholics are bound hand and foot, body and soul, 
and that they are not allowed even to reflect."!' 

It remains to say a few words of my brother's 

* Perhaps D'Aubigne wrote Curia and the mistake occurred 
in the translation. [Abp. Kenrick's note.] 

t History of the Reformation by Martin John Spalding, Arch- 
bishop of Baltimore. Fifth revised edition. Baltimore, 1866. 
Vol. I., page 318. [The quotation as above given is from the 
original English. Early in the Council a misfortune befell Abp, 
Manning, in all respects similar to this of Abp. Spalding. The 
following extract was produced from a catechism widely used and 
authorized in England, and praised by Manning's own journal, 
Tlie Tabid : " Q. Are not Catholics bound to believe that the pope 
is in himself infallible ? A. This is a Peotestant invention, and 
i-; no article of Catholic belief." Quirinus. 07.] 


views about the case of Honorius. It is no wonder 
that, educated at the College of Urban, and being 
full of zeal for the Holy See, he should have judged 
him very mildly. For the case was not of any such 
importance before the rise of the present controversy, 
and therefore had not been so thoroughly cleared up 
as it now is. I take this opportunity to say a word 
of the bishop of Eottenburg's * opinion expressed in 
his profoundly learned History of Councils. The 
archbishop of Dublin, who has perhaps acquired his 
information from the French translation instead of 
from the work itself," says that there will be some 
difficulty in reconciling this opinion with that which 
the bishop of Kottenburg now advocates. A year 
ago I read the original work, and it was from that 
that I first learned — what my own examination has 
since confirmed — that the letters of Honorius to 
Sergius do contain some things which, cannot be 
reconciled with sound doctrine. 

VII. It was with great delight that I listened to 
the recent speech of the archbishop of Westminster 
in this assembly. I was at a loss which most to 
admire, the eloquence of the man, or his fiery zeal 
in moving, or rather commanding us to enact the 
new definition. The lucid arrangement of topics, 
the absolute felicity of diction, the singular grace of 
elocution, and the supreme authority and candor of 
mind which were resplendent in his speech, almost 
extorted from me the exclamation, " Talis cum sis, 
ittinam noster esses!" And yet, while I listened, I 

[* Bishop HofVlo.] 


could not help thinking of what used to be said of 
the English settlers in Ireland — that they were more 
Irish than the Irishmen. The most reverend arch- 
bishop is certainly more Catholic than any Catholic 
I ever knew before. He has no doubt himself of the 
infallibility — personal, separate, and absolute — of the 
pope, and he is not willing to allow other people to 
have any. He declares it to be a doctrine of faith, 
and he does not so much demand as he does pre- 
dict, that the Vatican Council shall define it as such ; 
something perhaps in the style of those prophets who 
go to work to bring about the fulfilment of their own 
predictions. As for myself — whom the experience 
of well nigh sixty years, since I first began to study 
the rudiments of the faith, may perhaps have made 
as well informed upon this subject as one who has 
been numbered with the church for some twenty 
years — I boldly declare that that opinion, as it lies 
in the schema is not a doctrine of faith, and that it 
cannot become such by any definition whatsoever, 
even by the definition of a Council. "We are the 
keepers of the faith committed to us, not its mas- 
ters. We are teachers of the faithful intrusted to 
our charge, in just so far as we are witnesses. 

The great confusion of ideas which prevails 
throughout this controversy seems to me to arise 
from an inaccurate notion of certain terms, and from 
the neglect of the distinction, which should never be 
lost sight of, between theology as a science, and the 
revealed truths of which it treats, as an object of our 
faith. Let me briefly explain my meaning. 


All truths divinely revealed are to be believed 
with divine faith, which are propounded as such to 
the faithful by the church, whether in councils or 
through its ordinary government. Among these 
truths some are explicitly revealed, others implicitly. 
These last are to be restricted to those truths only 
which are necessarily connected with truths expli- 
citly revealed, so that one who should deny the for- 
mer would be held to have denied the latter also. 
Thus the church in its acts of definition is always a 
witness, and formulates a judgment only by witness- 
ing. It condemns errors which openly contradict 
doctrines explicitly revealed, and besides these, 
errors opposed to corollaries necessarily deduced 
from such doctrines. It is the general opinion of 
theologians that it may happen that arguments of 
doubtful value shall be adduced in proof of truths of 
faith, even in General Councils ; although in declar- 
ing the faith itself, the Councils cannot err. The 
reason is, that in declaring the faith — an act of which 
all bishops, learned and unlearned alike, are capa- 
ble — the church acts as witness : in proving the faith, 
whether from reason or from Scripture, she sustains 
the part not so much of a witness as of a theologian. 

It is within the limits above enunciated that that 
faith divinely revealed is contained, concerning which 
the church as witness is capable of pronouncing a 
formal judgment, and of anathematizing gainsayers 
as heretics. Among these truths explicitly or im- 
plicitly revealed, those which have been denned by 
a solemn judgment of the church are said to belong 


to the Catholic faith, in distinction from those which, 
although revealed, and necessary to be believed, have 
not been enunciated or denned by decree of Coun- 
cil. But this distinction is merely scholastic, and 

implies no difference at all between the two kinds of 
truth, so far as respects the obligation of believing 

Theology as a science is to be carefully distin- 
guished from faith or the body of credenda. It sets 
forth the truths of faith in systematic order, and 
proves them, in its way of proving, either positively 
or scholastically, and deduces sundry conclusions 
from truths explicitly or implicitly revealed, which, 
for distinction's Bake, are called theological conclu- 
sions. These conclusions, not being immediately and 
necessarily connected with revealed truths, so that 
the denial of them would be deemed a denial of 
those truths themselves, cannot be elevated to the 
rank of truths of faith, or propounded as such to the 
faithful at cost of their everlasting salvation. Prop- 
ositions contradictory of them may be condemned 
as erroneous, but not as heretical. 

In the Vatican Council, this distinction does not 
seem to have been observed. The result — a thing 
unknown hitherto in Councils — has been that the 
bishops are divided among diverse opinions, dispu- 
ting, certainly not about doctrines of faith of which 
they are witnesses and custodians, but about opin- 
ions of the schools. The Council-chamber has been 
turned into a theojogical arena, the partisans of op- 
posite opinions, not only on this question of the infal- 


libility of the pope, but on other subjects, exchanging 
blows back and forth with the hot temper which is 
more common in theologians than in bishops, and is 
not becoming to either;* for all acknowledge the 
Roman pontiff, united with the body of bishops, to 
be infallible. Here we have a doctrine of faith. 
But not all acknowledge him to be infallible by him- 
self alone; neither do all know what is meant by 
that formula ; for different parties offer different in- 
terpretations of it. Here we Lave the opinions or 
views of the schools, about which (as is fair enough) 
there are all sorts of mutual contradictions. 

It may be objected that by this line of argument 
I assail the definition of the immaculate conception 
of the blessed Virgin by the bull Incffabilis Dens; 
since this opinion was for centuries freely denied by 
many, and was afterwards erected into an article of 
faith by the bull aforesaid, with the consent and ap- 
plause of the body of bishops, as appeal's from their 
acts and writings, many of them having been present 
at the pontifical definition. Speaking for myself 
alone, I give the following frank reply, which per- 
haps will meet the approval neither of my friends nor 
of others. For a fuller reply, I refer to my Obser- 
vations, in the Synopsis,*!* the sum of which is as 

[* Compare with this expression Archbishop Manning's solemn 
declaration as to what did not occur— " scenes of indecent clamor 
and personal violence, unworthy even in laymen, criminal in bishops 
of the church." Petri Privilcgium, 3. 28. The coincidence of expres- 
sion is curious, one bishop giving the facts as they happened, and 
the other the facts as they did not happen.] 

f Synopsis Observationnm, pp. 234-238. 


follows : I admit that the blessed Virgin Mary through 
the singular favor of God, and in view of the merits 
of her Son Jesus Christ, was kept in her conception 
from all guilt of Adam's sin. I do not deny that 
tins sentiment belongs to the deposit of faith; never- 
theless, I have never been able to discover it therein, 
so far as that deposit is set forth in the Scriptures 
and the writings of the fathers; neither have I ever 
found the man who could show it to me there. The 
assent of " the Church Dispersed " (as it is called) 
proves that the definition to which that assent is 
given is not in contradiction to any revealed truth; 
since, as I have thready remarked, the church, wheth- 
er in council or dispersed, can tolerate nothing which 
contradicts the faith. The pious opinion was always 
cherished among the faithful — an affection which the 
church encouraged, and by the institution of the Feast 
of the Conception, almost sanctioned. But it never 
delivered it as a doctrine of faith, and popes have 
strictly forbidden that the opposite opinion should 
be branded with the mark of heresy by its opponents. 
If any one should deny that it is a doctrine of faith, 
I do not see what answer could be made to him; 
for he would reply that the church could not so long 
have tolerated an error contrary to truth divinely 
revealed, without seeming either ignorant of what 
the deposit of faith contained or tolerant of mani- 
fest error. 

YIII. I now proceed to show that the opinion of 
the infallibility of the pope in the sense of the schema, 
whether true or false, is not a doctrine of faith, and 


cannot be propounded as such to tlie faithful, even 
by the definition of a Council. 

Definitions of faith are not incitements to devo- 
tion, much less are they the triumphal exaltation of 
the opinions of schools of theology, according as one 
or another of these gets the upper hand. They are 
authoritative expositions of the doctrines of faith, 
generally designed to guard against the subterfuges 
of innovators, and they never impose upon believers 
a new faith. 

This being settled, I say that the infallibility of 
the pope is not a doctrine of faith. 

1. It is not contained in the symbols of the faith ; 
it is not presented as an article of faith in the cate- 
chisms ; and it is not found as such in any document 
of public worship. Therefore the church has not 
hitherto taught it as a thing to be believed of faith ; 
as, if it were a doctrine of faith, it ought to have 
delivered and taught it. 

2. Not only has not the church taught it in any 
public instrument, but it has suffered it to be im- 
pugned, not everywhere, but, with the possible excep- 
tion of Italy, almost everywhere in the world, and 
that for a long time. This is proved by a witness 
above all impeachment — the approbation of Inno- 
cent XI. twice conferred upon Bossuet's Exposition 
of the Faith, a work in which not only no mention 
of this doctrine occurs, but in which the notion is 
plainly referred to in the remarks upon matters in 
dispute among theologians, on which opinion is free. 

To speak only of the English-speaking nations, it 


may be observed that in no one of their symbolical 
or catechetical works is this opinion found set down 
among truths of faith. 

The whole supply of books treating of faith and 
piety, down to the beginning of the present century, 
and later, has been imported into Ireland and the 
United States from England. In many of them the 
opposite opinion is given. In none of them is the 
opinion itself found as a matter of faith. A year 
ago, indeed, in England and the United States, there 
came out sundry books — two or three of them to my 
knowledge — intended to prepare men's minds to 
receive the opinion as belonging to the faith. As for 
that one which was published in the United States, 
and afterwards translated into French and German,* 
written by a pious and extremely zealous but igno- 
rant man, I may say that it abounded in such grave 
blunders, at least in the first edition in English, as 
to excite more laughter than indignation in others 
beside me, holding different opinions on the pending 
question. When I was solicited by the author to 
give some sort of commendation to the little book, 
which is measurably damaging to the bishops, I did 
not wish to trouble the good man with a debate, and 
so, in an unguarded moment, I promised him the 
charity of silence. 

It was known, indeed, among us that the school 
of theologians commonly called by us Ultramontanes, 
upheld the opinion of papal infallibility in a sense 

[* The writer here refers to a work on The Infallibility of the 
Pope by the Rev. Father YVeninger, S. J. , of Cincinnati. ] 


more favorable to papal privileges than the other 
theologians. And that opinion, after the translation 
into English of the distinguished Joseph De Mais- 
tre's work on The Pope, widely prevailed among 
among clergy and laity, and still prevails, yet not as 
a doctrine of faith, but as a free opinion which seems 
to have in its favor important reasons and weighty 
names. But to return to the point. 

For almost two centuries there has been in use 
among English-speaking Catholics a little book en- 
titled, "Roman-catholic Principles in Reference to God 
and the King." So widely circulated is this little 
book, that from 1748 to 1813 were printed thirty-five 
editions of it, in a separate form ; besides that, being 
very brief, it was often appended to other works. 
The Very Reverend Vicar Apostolic Coppinger, in 
England, at the opening of the present century, had 
it printed twelve times over ; and another vicar apos- 
tolic, Walmesley, a man of the highest erudition, left 
his written opinion of this book, commending it to 
his friends for its clearness and good judgment. On 
the present question it speaks as follows : 

" It is no matter of faith to believe that the pope 
is in himself infallible, separated from the church, 
even in expounding the faith. By consequence 
papal definitions or decrees, in whatever .form pro- 
nounced, taken exclusively from a General Council 
or universal acceptance of the church, oblige none, 
under pain of heresy, to an interior assent."* 

* Roman-catholic Principles, etc. Kirk's edition, Butler's His- 
torical Memoirs, vol. 4, Appendix, p. 501. 


The work is printed in full in the Appendix to 
Charles Butler's Historical Memoirs, which may be 
found in the library of the English college in this 

We have with us a witness from the United 
States of North America, in the person of the most 
reverend archbishop of Baltimore, who lias expressed 
his opinion on this point, not in the historical work 
from which I have quoted, which, as likely to meet 
the eye of other than Catholic readers, might seem, 
perhaps, to permit a more liberal explanation of the 
subject; but in a lecture delivered to the faithful in 
his own cathedra] church, while he was bishop of 
Louisville, To the great benefit of the church, he 
collected the lectures into a volume, and published 
them. The volume has been often reprinted, and a 
copy of the fourth edition, printed at Baltimore hi 
1866, is preserved in the library of the American col- 
lege in this city, having been ppesented to the library 
by the author, with an inscription in his own hand- 
writing, in the year 1867, when he was here. 

He delivers many admirable arguments on the 
infallibility of the church ; then, refuting the objec- 
tions commonly made against it, he sa 

" Do we mean to say that even the pope is im- 
peccable or mfalhble in his private and individual 
capacity? No Catholic divine ever so much as 
dreamed of saying or thinking so. Do we mean to 
say that the pope, viewed in his public and official 
capacity, when he speaks out as the organ and vis- 
ible head of the church, is gifted with infallibility ? 


No Catholic divine ever defended his infallibility, 
even under suck circumstances, unless when the 
matters on which he uttered his definitions were inti- 
mately connected with the doctrines of faith and 
morals, and when, if he should be permitted by God 
to fall into error, there would be danger of the whole 
church being also led astray. Those numerous and 
learned Catholic theologians who maintain the infal- 
libility of the Koman pontiff in this particular case, 
consider it as if matter of opinion more or less cer- 
.tain, not as one of Catholic faith, [the Italics are by 
the archbishop himself,] defined by the church and 
obligatory on all. Though not an article of Catholic 
faith, it is, however, the general belief among Cath- 
olics ; and I myself am inclined strongly to advocate 
its soundness, chiefly on account of the intimate con- 
nection between the pontiff and the church, as will 
be shown in a subsequent lecture. Still, it is an 
opinion, for all this, and no Catholic would venture 
to charge the great Bossuet, for example, with being 
wanting in orthodoxy for denying it, while he so 
powerfully and so eloquently established the infalli- 
bility of the Church."* 

It is scarcely necessary to remark that the scho- 
lastic distinction between " doctrines of the faith" and 
" doctrines or dogmas of the Catholic faith," cannot 
be brought in to break the force of the conclusion, 
derived from sources so numerous and so important, 

* Lectures on the Evidences of Catholicity, delivered in the 
Cathedral of Louisville, by M. J. Spalding, D. D. , Archbishop of 
Baltimore. Fourth edition, revised and enlarged. Baltimore, 
18GG. Pp. 2G3-4. 


that the opinion of the infallibility of the pope lias 
not been delivered to the faithful as a thing to be be- 
lieved with divine faith. This notion is never men- 
tioned except when it becomes necessary to refer to 
it in meeting the objections of opponents, and it is 
always asserted that it does not belong to the faith. 
It is not to be admitted that in those circumstances, 
men of the weightiest character, distinguished with 
the office of priest or bishop, would have made use of 
verbal quibbles which it would be hardly possible tot 
their opponents to understand ; such a quibble would 
be that scholastic distinction between a doctrine of the 
faith and a dogma of the Catholic faith. The bishop 
of Elphin said, in reply to the archbishop of Cincin- 
nati, that Catholics had not denied the opinion of 
the infallibility of the pope as a doctrine of faith, but 
had denied that it was a dogma of the Catholic or 
denned faith. If this is true, which I by no means 
believe, the reproach is justly and deservedly to be 
applied to us, that in a matter of the gravest conse- 
quence we have not been ashamed to hide our mean- 
ing by making use of scholastic distinctions. 

It remains now to speak of the faith of the church 
of Ireland. 

In that very learned speech of his, which remahis 
thus far unanswered, and, as I confidently predict, 
will continue to be unanswered, the light reverend 
bishop of St. Augustine in North America (than 
whom no man in this assembly is more worthy of the 
respect due, at all times, and from all persons what- 
soever, to the Episcopal dignity) remarked that the 


Irish Catholics believe their own priests infallible, 
and therefore (as he asserted) it was no wonder that 
they should consider the pope of Kome infallible. 
It seemed to some that he was using an exaggerated 
expression, rather in joke than in earnest. 

And yet it is perfectly true, and so far from being 
a reproach to Irishmen, it is a very great honor to 
them, and in the highest degree agreeable to Catholic 
principles. The Irish think their priests infallible 
because they receive them as the ministers of the 
infallible church, and therefore as in accordance with 
it in their sermons to the people. In just that sense 
and no other, although with even a greater reverence, 
on account of his higher rank in the hierarchy of the 
church, they accept the pope of Rome as infallible. 
I admit that in many respects they are inferior to 
other nations; but in this they yield to none — that 
they are most devoted to the Catholic faith, and 
most loyal in their obedience to the see of Rome. 
In both respects that may be said of them which 
was inscribed by Louis XYI. on the standard of 
some of them, who had served as mercenaries under 
the title of the Irish Brigade in his army and in those 
of his predecessors from Louis XIY.'s time — that 
they were "semper et ubiqiie fideles" But that they 
have any intelligent knowledge of the question now 
under discussion, or are capable of forming an opin- 
ion about it, is too ridiculous to need refuting. This 
is true of the meeting lately held at Cork, of which 
the bishop of Cashel spoke at the opening of his very 
neat speech ; since it is open to doubt whether the 

Vatican Council. / 


right reverend bishop of Cork himself, who was said 
to have presided at the meeting, understood Che sub- 
ject; for there are a good many in this assembly of 
ours who are in doubt up to this moment what is 
meant by papal infallibility, whether it is to follow 
the words of the schema, or in preference that miti- 
gated Interpretation which the archbishop of Malines, 
following the example of the bishop of Poitiers, in- 
troduced into his explanation. For those cunning 
men who are the real authors of the schema — I do 
not mean the bishops; whom I do mean will appear 
before long — well knew that there wire many of the 
fathers who would accept, without being in the least 
startled, the mitigated explanation (which, neverthe- 
less, had not yet been introduced into the schema) 
and, without thinking, would vote for the definition 
in the form set forth in the schema, at least for sub- 
stance ; whom perhaps a clearer statement of the 
sense of it would have found in the attitude of dis- 
sent from it. But to return to our own people. 

The question before us is not about the faith of 
the people, but about the judgment of prelates and 
doctors. I do not deny that, at the present time, 
the episcopate and clergy of Ireland, with the ex- 
ception of a few distinguished names, is inclined in 
favor of the notion of papal infalhbihty; although 
I have had no means of finding out their opinions, 
except what this opportunity at Rome has furnished 
me. But from the beginning it was not so ; in evi- 
dence of which I cite the well-nigh universal appro- 
bation with which the contrary opinion was set forth 


in writings from the pens of the most eminent men — 
who seemed to be pillars, as I might say, of the Irish 
church — during my youth, and since, being come to 
manhood, I was advanced to the priesthood. These 
writings were edited and published a 
man of consummate learning, of still greater genius, 
of most fervent piety, and of a zeal for souls truly 
apostolic, adorned with the episcopal dignity — I 
mean the Eight Beverend James Doyle, bishop of 
Kildare and Leighlen, and by the Eev. Arthur O'Lea- 
ry, a priest of the order of St. Francis, and seem 
to have had the approbation of every one. Besides 
these, we have the answers of Archbishops Murray 
and O'Kelly of Dublin and Tuam, and of the afore- 
said bishop of Kildare and Leighlen, to the questions 
put to them by a committee of the British Parlia- 
ment, in March, 1825. 

All these, translated into Latin, with the original 
text annexed, may be found in the appendix to this 
speech. They leave no room for doubt what was the 
opinion of the Irish bishops at that time. The same 
will be manifest from the resolutions of the bishops 
of all Ireland presented to the Holy See in 1815, 
which, although they do not pertain to the present 
controversy, like the answers before mentioned, do 
show that the opinion which is said to be now prev- 
alent has not always obtained." 4f the matters cited 

[* These documents may be found in full, in Latin and English, 
at the close of Kenrick's speech as reprinted in the Doc. ad lllustr. 
Cone. Vat. It has not seemed necessary to reproduce them in this 


from the synod of Turles seem to have a different 
sound, perhaps it happened there, as it did at the 
second synod of Baltimore, that everything was 
done according to the nod of the apostolic legate ; 
especially as no question arose there except ques- 
tions of discipline, and no occasion was afforded to 
say or to decree anything on the rights of the bish- 
ops, as at the assembly held in 1815, or on the en- 
largement, in words at least, of the authority of the 
Holy See. 

As to the clergy, I confidently deny that on this 
point they differed from the bishops. For whenco 
should they have derived a contrary opinion ? Sure- 
ly not from the seminaries in France and Spain, in 
which, before the founding of Maynooth college in 
Ireland, about the end of the last century, the major- 
ity pursued their theological studies, and from which 
they would have brought home with them the un- 
doubted sentiments of those famous schools, and not 
others. But in Maynooth college, the theological lec- 
turers from the beginning were almost all Frenchmen ; 
and their treatises, for a long time after their death, 
were, by college ordinance, placed in the hands of 
the students. I was myself present at the beginning 
of the change in the sentiment of that famous col- 
lege — if indeed there has been a change, of which I 
have no knowledgeaexcept by conjecture ; and along 
with me was the bishop of Cashel and the bishop of 
Clonfert, who was but lately here ; all of us at that 
time walked together with one accord in that home 

* Appendix A. 


consecrated to learning and religion. This was the oc- 
casion, to which it will perhaps not be useless to refer. 

Almost forty years have passed since I there pur- 
sued the study of theology under the learned John 
O'Hanlon, then lecturer in theology, now professor 
of higher theological science in the same college. 
The treatise De Ecclesia by that man of venerated 
memory, Delahogue, one of the French emigres in 
the time of the great Revolution, contained nothing 
on the infallibility of the pope except a thesis con- 
ceived in these or like words : "that the infallibility 
of the pope is not matter of faith." 

In 1831, the aforesaid lecturer on theology,' O'Han- 
lon, of his own accord gave us the thesis. " The pope 
speaking ex cathedra is infallible," not in order to con- 
vince us of it, but to give us the opportunity of be- 
coming acquainted with this weighty opinion, by the 
reasons in favor of it, adduced from various quarters. 
If I remember aright, he did not express his own 
opinion or press us to accept either side of this dis- 
puted question. I confess that I was one of those 
who took the affirmative. But the new and hitherto 
unheard-of procedure did not meet the approval of 
all the professors, one of whom, the lecturer on Holy 
Scripture, who afterwards came to be president of 
the college, expressed his displeasure in pretty plain 
terms to my classmate, now bishop of Clonfert, from 
whom I learned the fact. We have with us in this 
Council a most respected man, who used to be a the- 
ological instructor in that college for years before I 
entered it, who is justly and deservedly esteemed the 


Nestor of the Irish episcopate, since he has known 
well nigh three generations of men, and who to emi- 
nent learning hi theology unites the fame of elegant 
literary culture ; he was well acquainted with the prel- 
ates whom I have mentioned, and with other learn- 
ed men whose names, "dara el venerabilia," are writ- 
ten in the hearts and the calendars of the Irish peo- 
ple. With singular moderation this eminent man 
refrained from uttering himself on this subject; so 
that the archbishop of Dublin did not hesitate to 
speak for him and impress him into his party ; while 
those who think with 1m 1 , and had known liim, and 
who had hoped to see him fighting in our ranks, were 
grieved to see him, like another Aehilles, Bitting apart 
from us. It filled me with quite unexpected delight 
when I heard him say that in judgments of faith the 
head should be joined with the body — not as the 
archbishop of Westminster would have it, that the 
head should drag the body to itself by communica- 
ting to it its own infallibility, but that head and body, 
by bearing joint testimony to the faith once delivered 
to the saints, should make unanimous declaration of 
the same. As he came down from the platform, I 
congratulated him with the words, " You have vindi- 
cated Ireland." If witnesses to the faith of the 
Irish are to be weighed — which is the fair way — in- 
stead of counted, the most reverend archbishop of 
Tuam may well be offset, as a matter of mere testi- 
mony, against the rest of the Irish bishops, not even 
excepting the archbishop of Dublin.* 

[* "The infallibilist speaker who created most sensation was 


The bishop of Galway says that the Catholics in 
Ireland and England were admitted to equal rights 
with Protestants, not on account of the oath which 
all, whether ecclesiastics or laymen, were for years 
obliged to take, but because those in charge of the 
English government were afraid of civil war unless 
that concession were made. In this he spoke the 
truth ; but it was nothing to the point ; and the true 
cause of the truth which he uttered seemed to be 
quite unknown to him. 

The papal power has always been excessively 
odious-to the British government. Now if it were a 
doctrine of faith that the pope is infallible, it could 
be shown that Protestants had understood the papal 
power better than English and Irish Catholics them- 
selves. For they knew that the popes of Kome had 
claimed supreme power in temporal things, and had at- 
tempted to dethrone more than one English monarch 
by dispensing his subjects from their oaths of allegiance. 

Cardinal Cullen, archbishop of Dublin. He gained the warm ap- 
plause of his party by the aggressive tone of his speech, in which 
he attacked especially Hefele and Kenrick. He appealed to the 
testimony of Mac Hale [Archbishop of Tuam] to show that the 
mind of Ireland has always been infallibilist— a glaring falsehood, 
as is proved by the famous Declaration of the Irish Catholics in 
1757, formally repudiating the doctrine. And it made no slight 
impression when the gray-haired Mac Hale rose to repudiate the 
pretended belief in infallibility, not merely for himself, but for 
Ireland." Quirinus, 557. Wherever this Speech of Kenrick's 
throws light upon the severest things said in Quirinus and Ce qui 
se passe au Concile, etc. , it confirms them. "Witness the very next 
page of Quirinus : ' ' When Cullen replied to the archbishop of St. 
Louis, l non est verum' ['it isn't true !'] the aged prelate request- 
ed leave of the legates to defend himself briefly. It was refused. ' 
Compare above, p. 95.] 


Over and over again, the Catholics had denied, 
under their solemn oath, that this power belonged to 
the pope of Rome within the realm of England. If 
they had not done this, they never would have been, 
and never ought to have been, admitted to the privi- 
lege of civil liberty. How it is possible for the faith 
thus pledged to the British government to be recon- 
ciled with the definition of papal infallibility, when it 
is certain that the popes have often with great solem- 
nity declared that the right belonged to them, and 
have never renounced it, those of the Irish bishops 
may look to, who, like myself, have taken the oath 
in question. It is a knot which I cannot untie. 
Daunts sum, non (Edipus, Notwithstanding these 
things, civil liberty was granted to the Catholics by 
men who had fought stoutly against it all their lives 
long. They feared civil war, indeed, but they did 
not dread it in this sense, that a war of this sort 
could be damaging to the power of the government 
in any other way than as a temporary interruption 
of the public peace. They feared the fact of war — 
not the issue of it ; what that would have been, no 
man of sense could doubt. Those illustrious men 
preferred rather to yield, than to triumph by the 
destruction of a renowned nation, and of a people who 
even in their errors (as they deemed them) were 
worthy of a better fate. Would that the moderation 
of mind showed by those men might be showed by the 
majority of the bishops who hear me, and that fore- 
seeing the calamities that may come forth among us 
out of this ill-omened controversy, they might, in 


this exigency that calls for the utmost moderation, 
avert from ns who are less in number, but who repre- 
sent a larger number of Catholics than our oppo- 
nents — and not from us only, but from the Catholic 
world — calamities which cannot be anticipated with- 
out horror, and which a tardy repentance will be 
powerless to repair. 

IX. I have something to say now on a case of 
conscience. The case is this, as you know : that the 
bishops should be reminded that a grave sin would 
be committed by any bishop who should vote in the 
affirmative on papal infallibility, without having per- 
sonally and, as the phrase goes, "on his own hook," 
made a thorough examination of the subject ; when 
by that act a new yoke is imposed on the faithful, 
and the gravest inconveniences are by many thought 
likely to ensue from it.* . 

The archbishop of Westminster takes this very 
hardly, complaining of it as an outrage on the honor 
and dignity of the bishops ; as if he held it impossi- 
ble for bishops to err, or that they would be clear of 
all imputation of grave sin, if through carelessness 
or indolence they should neglect to form a right 
judgment on this business. 

Can they acquiesce in an opinion which perhaps 
they have never weighed — following the statements 
of teachers in the seminaries, with the docility which 
is becoming in pupils towards the learned? The 
pamphlet by the most reverend archbishop of Edes- 
sa, commended to the pope by the eleven erudite 

* See Quirinus, 021. 



theologians, is perhaps to be taken as setting forth 
such weighty reasons in proof of the infallibility of 
the pope, that since no one ought to hesitate to put 
confidence in it, every one may safely accept its con- 
clusions as so many truths placed beyond every 
chance of doubt. I am not denying the writer's 
learning ; neither do I wish to call in question his 
good faith ; but I can prove that in this matter he is 
not free from all error, and that thus far his author- 
ity is none too much to be trusted. Besides the 
example already alleged when I was speaking of the 
meaning of the text "On this rock/' &e., I mention 
two others: one from the testimonies of the fathers, 
the other in the method of his argument. 

Among the passages which he cites from the 
fathers is that very common text of St. Ambrose, 
Which I subjoin, taken from pages 31 and 32 : 

" On Psalm 40, No. 30, he speaks as follows : ' It 
is Peter himself to whom he says, " Thou art Peter, 
and on this rock will I build my church." Therefore 
where Peter is, there is the church ; where the 
church is, there is no death, but life eternal. And 
therefore he adds, "And the gates of hell shall not 
prevail against it ; and I will give thee the keys of 
the kingdom of heaven." Blessed Peter, against 
whom the gates of hell have not prevailed, nor the 
gates of heaven been closed, but who, on the con- 
trary, has destroyed the vestibules of hell, and made 
clear those of heaven — who has opened heaven and 
shut up hell ! Doubtless if where Peter is, (or where 
his successors, the popes, are, holding all the prerog- 


atives of the primacy,) there the church is, and life 
eternal without peril of death, then the whole build- 
ing of the church must necessarily be founded in 
their faith. Wherefore this must needs be indefec- 
tible, and so the gates of hell being vanquished, they 
themselves, embracing in the true faith all Christ's 
faithful, open to them the heavenly mansions.' " 

This passage was cited by the bishop of Orleans,* 
in his first letter, as one which might be objected to 
his position, and he there explained it in a sense 
consistent with his views, having no doubt that the 
text of Ambrose was to be received in some other 
sense than the obvious one, and that, really, it meant 
that the church was identified with Peter in the case 
of controverted points of faith, which, so far from 
denying, the bishop openly admitted. Among others 
who replied to this letter, was the learned Francesco 
Nardi, one of the Auditors of the Sacred Bota, and an 
officer of this Council. Yielding to love of truth 
rather than of party, he denies that the words of St. 
Ambrose have the meaning which the bishop of 
Orleans, among others, believed. I quote his words 
in the original Italian, so that no one may suspect 
that the meaning of them has been modified in trans- 
lation. After giving the explanation of the bishop of 
Orleans, above referred to, he adds : 

" Del resto il valore delle parole di S. Ambrogio 
(in psalm xl., Enarr. n. 30) non credo sia quello che 
indica lo illustre vescovo, e basta leggerne il con- 
testo. Ivi trattasi della caduta di S. Pietro sanata 

* Bishop Dupanloup. 


da Cristo, e come Pietro in essa rappresenti il cristi- 
ano cadente, poi risorgente, per opera della Cbiesa e 
di Cristo, senza dnbbio quelle parole hanno un altro 
piii ampio ed alto significato, ed b Che Pietro piii cbe 
contrasegno, e veramente il rappresentante della 
vera Cbiesa e la sua immagine vivente e operante. 
Non credo cbe S. Ambrogio in quel luogo pensasse 
ad altre cJuese crisUane, e come da esse si distingue la 
cattolica, per la presenza e governo di Pietro."* 

" Furthermore, I do not tbink that the meaning 
of St. Ambrose' words is that attributed to them by 
the illustrious bishop. The context settles it. The 
subject there is Peter's fall restored by Christ ; and 
since Peter represents therein the backsliding Chris- 
tian afterwards recovered through the work of Christ 
and the church, undoubtedly the words have another 
and a far wider and deeper meaning, to wit, that 
Peter is more than a symbol — he is an actual repre- 
sentative of the true church, and its living and acting 
image. I do not think that St. Ambrose in that 
passage was thinking of other Chris! urn churches, and 
of how the Catholic church is distinguished from 
them by the presence and government of Peter, "f 

Monsignor Nardi is right, as I find by consulting 
the passage in Ambrose. I beg you to observe that 

* Sulla ultima lettera di Monsignor Vescovo d'Orleans, osser- 
vazioni di Monsignor Francesco Nardi, Uditore di Sacra Rota. 
Seconda Edizione. Napoli, 1870. 

f It is quite in the style of Ambrose thus devoutly and ele- 
gantly to identify Peter with the church. See lib. 1, cap. 4, Lucce. 
Also lib. 5 in Lucce cap. 5. Also the context just precedirg the 
place above cited. 


the passage was quoted to prove that Peter is iden- 
tified with the church — -which we all admit, but not 
in the sense of the schema. It is not qu6ted to prove 
that by the rock Ambrose understands the apostle, 
for this is not the point in question. Unless, in the 
place cited, the church is identified with Peter in the 
sense of the schema, it affords no argument in support 
of the schema. The same must be said of all the 
other quotations, not one of which explicitly gives 
that view, although the writer attempts, by dint of 
argument to extract it from them. This one example 
shows how dangerous it is blindly to follow others in 
quoting the fathers. A striking proof of this may be 
found in the appendix to this speech ; although it 
does not relate to the pending question, it gives 
abundant proof of my assertion, and may serve the 
purpose I have in view.* 

As an example of false inference, I take page 74, 
where the author tries to prove that the Council of 
Constance admitted that the pope was above the 
Council, a question which I will not go into at pres- 
ent. He proves it in this fashion : 

[* In the appendix referred to, Abp. Kenriclc speaks of having 
heard, twelve years ago, an Easter sermon in which the preacher 
said that the Lord after his resurrection appeared first to the 
blessed Virgin Mary — which is contrary to Mark 16 : 0. Inquir- 
ing further, he found the same assertion in a work of Pope Bene- 
dict XIV., who, while remarking that Estius declares the contrary, 
nevertheless thought it better to stick to the pious tradition on this 
point, notwithstanding it is in open contradiction to the loords of the 
evangelist I 

The remainder of this appendix is not important to the matter 
in hand ; but the passage above quoted is wonderfully character- 
istic of Roman theology and devotion.] 


"In the conciliar epistle, addressed to the Ger- 
man prelates, which Martin, * sacro approbante 
Concilio,' published against the errors of Wiclif and 
Huss, one of the articles set forth to be believed is 
this : That the pope is the head of the Catholic 
church. Therefore the pope bears the same relation 
to the church universal and to the general Council 
representing it as the head bears fcd the body. But 
from the head the body receives motion and every 
influence. Therefore, according to the Council of 
Constance itself, a general council receives all its 
power of governing the church, not immediately from 
Christ, but mediately, through the pope, the head of 
the cluircli. But this cannot be reconciled with what 
is said in the decree of the fourth and fifth sessions, 
if the latter is to be received in the sense in which it 
is taken by the opposition." 

The fallacy of the above reasoning is this : The 
pope is Christ's vicegerent in so far as Christ has 
conferred on him the power of representing Him as 
the visible head to the faithful. But in the foregoing 
argument Christ is supposed to have conferred on 
him the entire fulness of his own power, inasmuch 
as he is the head of the church, which is His body ; 
a notion which is denied by the advocates of the 
opposite opinion. He who exercises a delegated 
power is not to be considered as having the entire 
power of the one delegating, but only just so much 
as can be proved, by the documents in the case, to 
have been conferred upon him. The church, there- 
fore, may receive motion and every influence imme- 


diately from Clirist himself, tlie true head of the 
body, not through the medium of the visible head — 
that is, the Koman pontiff— unless it appears that 
Christ, in the government of his church, has reserved 
nothing to himself ; which is supposed, but not 
proved, by the author of the Lucubration. 

Speaking of the case of conscience, the arch- 
bishop of Baltimore asserted that examination was 
no less required to vote in the negative than in the 
affirmative on the question of papal infallibility. I 
think he was mistaken. He who refuses his consent 
to impose a new burden on the faithful contracts no 
obligation ; while he who gives his consent (unless, 
under the force of reasons such as set aside all 
doubt, he should decide that the affirmative opinion 
is not only true, but also divinely revealed, and that 
it is expedient to propound it as such to the faithful 
to be believed) would be guilty of the most grievous 
sin. It is not true that by withholding his assent he 
affirms the four articles of the French Assembly, as 
the archbishop of Baltimore says — an assertion 
which seemed to me and to others unworthy of so 
honorable a man. 

And now that that famous Assembly has been 
mentioned, and now that an acrimonious attack has 
been made by one of our right reverend orators on 
a man of eminent learning and character on account 
of his refutation of a so-called history of that Assem- 
bly, suffer me to say a word of both these books, 
which I have not only read but carefully compared 
with each other. The Historv of the Gallican 


Assembly, which has been so bepraised, is in 

my judgment a very infamous libel, the author of 
which has sharpened his pen against the dead, dis- 
turbing the ashes of those who had no connection 
whatever with the Assembly, ;is well as of those who 
controlled and directed it.* 

That he has made many mutilated quotations, 
which, by failing to give the whole text, insinuate 
falsehood even when they do not explicitly utter it, 
has been proved by the Abbe* Loyson.f That learned 
man has exhibited these facts with the calmness of 
mind which is characteristic of him, and which, when 
compared with the temper of the other book, shows 
him to be a defender of truth and not an insinuater 
of falsehood. This accounts for the anger which he 
has stirred up on the part of his antagonists, 

X. The archbishop of Westminster holds infalli- 
bility to be a spiritual gift, or charisma. If that is 
true, I agree to it in the case of the person making 
good his claim to the gift ; for in the strict sense of 
the word it is predicable only of a person. The 
usage has prevailed, indeed, of predicating infalli- 
bility, of the church, but it would be better to use 
the word inerrancy. 

God only is infallible. Of the church, the most 
that we can assert is, that it does not err in teaching 

* Reckerclies Historiques sur l'Assemblec; da Clerge de France 
de 1G82, par M. Germ. 

f L'Assernbleo du Clerge de France de 1682, d'apres dea docu- 
ments dont un grand nombre inconnues jusqu' a ce jour, par 
l'Abbe I. Th. Loyson, Docteur et Professeur de Sorbonne. [The 
Abbe Loyson is a younger brother of the cobbrated Father 
Hyacinths. ] 


the doctrines of faith which Christ has committed to 
its charge ; because the gates of hell are not to pre- 
vail against it. Therefore infallibility absolute and 
complete cannot be predicated of it ; and perhaps it 
would be better to refrain from using that word, and 
use the word inerrancy instead. But the church's 
inerrancy does not seem to be a positive thing, 
infused into it from heaven — which could not be 
intelligently said of a " moral person " like the 
church — although it is always so aided by the grace 
of the Holy Spirit that it may faithfully keep and set 
forth the truths which Christ had taught. For this 
end it has a fit means— but not at all a miraculous 
means — in the tradition of the particular churches of 
which it consists. Therefore the inerrancy, or infal- 
libility, of the church is not a cltarisnta infused from 
heaven, as the archbishop of Westminster would 
have it, by which it may discover and distinguish 
truths divinely revealed. It is nothing else, in my 
opinion, than the tradition of the church divinely 
founded and kept by the divine indwelling, so that 
it shall not tolerate errors contradicting revealed 
truths and their immediate and necessary corollaries, 
nor propound to the faithful, by its supreme author- 
ity, anything that is not true. 

As I was saying this, not long ago, a Catholic 
objected that infallibility though not a miraculous, 
was a supernatural gift ; that is, a grace annexed to 
the office of pope, by means of which, without any 
miraculous intervention of God he can discern true 
from false and revealed truth from natural. 


Since the Roman pontiff, as bishop, has no other 
grace of ordination than his brethren who share the 
same Episcopal office, the supposed grace can only 
be a personal one. But that kind of grace does not 
preserve from error those even to whom it is granted 
in the largest measure, as appears from the saints 
who in the great schism were found on both sides, 
although eminent in virtue and splendid with the 
glory of miracles. If papal infallibility is a personal 
grace or charisma, as the archbishop of Westminster 
calls it, it demands a miraculous intervention of God, 
that the pope, when he means to define anything of 
faith or morals, may be kept free from error. 

It may be shown in another way that this novel 
invention of the charisma ought to be rejected, from 
the consequences which it involves. Granting that 
infalhbility is a charisma, in what does it differ from 
that special private inspiration by which certain per- 
sons think themselves led, and which is rejected by 
theologians on this precise ground, that no means is 
granted, outside of the person who considers himself 
to be led by the divine Spirit, by which it may be 
proved whether the spirit really is divine. Not one 
word will the archbishop of Westminster listen to, of 
fixing the conditions for the exercise of the pope's 
infallibility. He asserts that He who gave the 
charisma will give the means for its due exercise, or 
will bring it about that such means shall be used. 

Yerily this is a royal road to the discovery of the 
truths of faith ! And yet it is not without its dangers 
both for pope and for church. Once imbued with 


this conviction, the holier in life, the purer in pur- 
pose, the more fervent in piety the pope should be, 
the more dangerous he would prove both to himself 
and to the church, which (according to this system) 
derives its infallibility from him ; especially would 
this be true if he should find even one of his advisers 
laboring under the same illusion. What need would 
there be, to a pope who accepted this notion, of the 
counsel of his brethren, the opinions of theologians, 
the investigation of the documents of the church? 
Believing himself to be immediately led by the 
divine Spirit, and that this Spirit is communicated 
through him to the church, there would be nothing 
to hold him back from pressing on in a course on 
which he had once entered. These consequences of 
the principle laid down by the archbishop of West- 
minster prove it to be false. Nevertheless if infalli- 
bility is a charisma, we must be able to follow out 
the fact to its conclusions. 

XI. Among other things which utterly astounded 
me, it was said by the archbishop of Westminster 
that by the addition made at the end of the decree 
De Fide, passed at the third session, we had already 
admitted the doctrine of papal infallibility, at least 
by implication, and that we were no longer free to 
recede from it.* 

* The addition was as follows : " Since it is not enough to avoid 
heretical pravity, unless at the same time those errors are diligent- 
ly avoided which more or less tend to it, we warn all persons of 
the duty of observing also the constitutions and decrees in which 
such erroneous opinions, which themselves are not expressly enu- 
merated, have been proscribed and prohibited by this Holy See." 


If I rightly understand the right reverend relator 
of the committee, who, when this addition had once 
been moved in the General Congregation, then with- 
drawn, and finally, while we W6T6 wondering what the 
matter was, suddenly moved a second time, he said, in 
plain terms, that no doctrine at all was taught bj it, 
hut that it was placed at the end of the four chapters 
of which the decree was composed, in order to round 
them oil' handsomely; 11 and that it was rather disci- 
plinary than doctrinal in its character. Either lie 
was deceived, if what the archbishop of Westminster 
said was tine; or else lie intentionally led us into 
error — which we are hardly at liberty to suppo 
so honorable a man. However it may have been, 
many of the bishops, confiding in his assurance, 
decided not to refuse their suffrages to the decree on 
account of that clause ; while others, of whom I was 
one, were afraid that there was a trap set, and yield- 
ed reluctantly on this point to the will of others. ! 

In saying all this, it is not my intention to ac- 
cuse any of the right reverend fathers of bad faith. 
I treat them all, as is meet, with due reverence. But 
it is said that we have among us, outside of the 
Council, certain "religious" men — who are perhaps 
pious as well as "religious" — who have a vast influ- 
ence upon the Council; who, relying rather on trick- 
ery than on fair measures, have brought the interests 
of the church into that extreme peril from which it 
has risen ; who at the beginning of the Council man- 

[* "Imponi tanquani eis coronidem convenientem."] 
f Appendix, p. 171. See also above, p. 83. 


aged to have no one appointed on the committees of 
the Council but those who were known or believed 
to be in favor of their schemes ; who, following hard 
in the footsteps of certain of their predecessors, in 
the schemata that have been proposed to us, and 
which have come out of their own workshop, seem to 
have had nothing so much at heart as the deprecia- 
tion of the authority of the bishops and the exalta- 
tion of the authority of the pope ; and seem disposed 
to impose upon the unwary with twists and turns of 
expression, which may be differently explained by 
different persons. These are the men who have 
blown up this conflagration in the church ; and they 
do not cease to fan the flame by spreading among 
the people their writings, which put on the outward 
show of piety, but are destitute of its reality. 

With more zeal than knowledge, these excellent 
men would like to cover up the design of the divine 
Architect with another and, as they may think, a 
better and stronger one. For He had consulted at 
once for the unity of the whole, and the liberty of 
every part ; nor had he conferred the entire fulness 
of his own power on the vicar appointetl by himself; 
knowing what was in man, and not wishing that any 
one should have lordship over the dergy, that is, his 
"portion," [n?Jjpoc~\ the church. 

Already in vain the petition has been offered that 
this painful controversy might not be started in the 
Council. Equally in vain the petition has been 
urged that there might be no definition until after 
an examination which should leave no room for 


doubt as to the testimony of tradition on this point. 
In order to such an examination, the request was 
presented, nearly three months ago, to their eminen- 
ces the presidents of the general congregation, in a 
petition from prelates of distinguished sees, that 
there might be a committee of fathers, taken in equal 
number from each party, and appointed by the votes 
of those agreeing nith them in opinion. This re- 
quest was repeated over and over again by others in 
the General Congregation; and is said to have had 
the approval of some even of (he advocates of papal 
infallibility. For the question is one which calls for 
an investigation of the records of the entire church, 
and should be dealt with in a calm rather than an 
excited temper. The archbishop of Dublin says, in- 
deed, that such an examination would last too long — 
that it would reach till the day of judgment. If this 
be so, it were better to refrain from making any defi- 
nition at all, than to frame one prematurely. But it 
is said the honor and authority of the Holy See de- 
mand a definition, nor can it be deferred without 
injury to both. I answer in the words of Jerome, 
substituting another word for the well-known' word 


I have done. 

* It is better to save the world than the city. 



[SEE PAGE 148.] 


The remarks in the speech call for a brief state- 
ment of the facts which occurred in that Council. It 
commenced on the 7th of October, and closed on the 
21st of the same month, each of these two days be- 
ing Sunday. Beside.s the solemn sessions held on 
these days, there were two others on intermediate 
days, namely, the 11th and the 18th, only the latter 
of which was professedly a solemn session, although 
the other, dedicated to expiation for the souls of de- 
parted bishops, was an equal hinderance to the use 
at least of the whole day for the business of the 
Council ; so that the business was confined to ten or 
eleven days. Within that brief space of time, there 
seem to have been passed the decrees which are 
contained in 274 pages of a volume of large size. 
All of them, indeed, had been prepared, in advance 
of the meeting of the Council, by the archbishop of 
Baltimore, with the cooperation of several theologi- 
ans, and the aid of sundry bishops, of whom I was 

The transactions of the first four days seemed to 
me hardly in accordance with the rules of Councils, 
and accordingly, on the 12th of October, in the Fifth 
Private Congregation, I offered the following decree, 


in the hope that thereafter, at least, business might 
go on in a better way : 

"It has pleased the fathers that the decrees lo 
be passed in this Council be offered drawn up in the 
form of Synodic decrees, and that the sense of the 
fathers of each province be called for, in the order of 
consecration in that province. Furthermore, it has 
pleased them that mitred abbots be interrogated at 
the same time with the bishops in whose provinces 
their monasteries are situated, although their votes 
are not to be taken. The votes of the fathers, as 
soon as given, after the statement of their reason (if 
they wish to sustain that reason by showing the 

grounds thereof) shall be immediately recorded by 
the secretaries 

The reason of the decree thus offered was two- 
fold. I wished that in voting the fathers might 
distinctly know what the question was — which, I 
thought, had not always happened in previous con- 

Since the abbots had only an advisory voice, I 
wanted the bishops to be interrogated by provinces, 
and that after the bishops of each province, the ab- 
bots should manifest then- views; so that those whose 
votes were still to be given might have the opportu- 
nity of knowing what the abbots thought. For what 
was the use of inviting them to the Council, if they 
were not to be allowed to express then- opinion until 
after all the bishops had voted, when they could be 
of no use either to themselves or to anybody else ? 

The proposed decree was rejected, twelve yeas to 


thirty-two nays ; either because the matter was not 
well understood, or because the apostolic legate 
vehemently objected to it, and they did not like to 
displease him: or (as I think likely) because they 
had no hope that it would improve the course of 
business, and were unwilling to be compelled to 
remain longer away from their dioceses for no real 

I then offered an exception which I had brought 
with me in writing, (foreseeing that the decree which 
I had proposed would not pass,) in the following or 
like terms : 

" The undersigned, archbishop of St. Louis, takes 
exception against all decrees passed or that may be 
passed in the present Council, which shall not have 
been drawn up in conciliar form and distinctly read 
to the fathers, and approved by a majority vote. 

Archbishop of St. Louis. 

In offering this exception, I said that in order to 
avoid scandal to the faithful, I would sign the de- 
crees, if that exception was recorded in the Acts of 
the Council, otherwise not. After some objection, 
on the part of the apostolic legate, to the wording of 
the exception in the form in which I first offered it, 
he consented to my request. But inasmuch as no 
change was made in the mode of transacting busi- 
ness in the Council, I abstained thenceforth from 
voting, except once or twice when my opinion was 
called for. 

In the published acts of the Council my excep- 

Vatican Council. O 


tion is not to be found — whether the apostolic legate 
had allowed himself this liberty, or whether, perad- 
venture, he had been advised to it from higher quar- 
ters. For in the Acts, after it is reported that the 
decree offered by me was rejected, the record reads 
thus : 

" The metropolitan of St. Louis offered a protest 
which the most reverend apostolic legate ordered to 
be reported in the Acts, and which has been trans- 
mitted with them to the holy pontiff, p. 72." 

In this way it has been brought about that the 
exception itself has been omitted, and T am made to 
appear as taking exception to the rejection of the 
decree which I had proposed, which would have 
been too ridiculous; when my exception was against 
the method of transacting business, which seemed to 
me not conciliar. My complaint is that the faith 
pledged to me was not kept. The Acts ought either 
to have been suppressed, or to have been given 



[SEE PAGE 164.] 

Out of the four committees, only that which is 
called the Committee on the Faith [Deputatio de 
Fide] has thus far clone anything in the Council. It 
is composed of twenty-four bishops, elected by the 
Council. Some days before the election, printed 
lithograph tickets, headed with the inscription, "In 
Honor of the Blessed Virgin of the Immaculate Con- 
ception" were distributed among the fathers, the 
name of His Eminence Cardinal De Angelis being 
quoted by the persons who ran these tickets, in a 
sort of recommendation of them. The bishops put 
in nomination by the pious getters-up of these tick- 
ets were almost to a man selected from those who 
were. known not to be opposed to the definition of 
papal infallibility. 

According to the Apostolic Constitution Midtipli- 
ces inter, the duty of the committees was this: In 
case the schemata first presented were either unac- 
ceptable to the fathers, or in want of some correc- 
tion on which the fathers in general congregation 
could not agree, they were to be recommitted to the 
committee either for correction or for reconstruction, 
in view of the remarks of the fathers upon it. In 
the General Congregation itself, the committee had 
no duty intrusted to it, although its individual mem- 
bers were at liberty to express their own views, 
speaking each for himself and not for the committee. 


Of the committee's method of doing business in 
its own meetings, . I cannot speak with certainty. 
But I have heard that when the question was on 
reconstructing the first schema De Fide, the work 
of preparing the new draft was committed by the 
others to three bishops, who were undoubtedly aided 
in their work by the advising theologians of the com- 
mittee. So that it is not very rash to suppose that 
the work of reconstruction was, at least mainly, to 
be referred to those theologians. Doubtless the rest 
gave their approval; and perhaps they had some 
share in the work. 

As to the committee's way of doing business in 
the Council itself, I can speak with more confidence. 
It was on this wise: In every other deliberative 
assembly, the committee, after reporting the amend- 
ed bill, has nothing more to do in the assembly, ex- 
cept, as has already been said, that the individuals 
of the committee are to state their views and give 
their votes just like other members of the body. 
Just the contrary has been done. By virtue of the 
ninth rule of the Decree, uttered in the month of 
February — not by the Council, but by the pope — it 
was permitted to any member of the committee to 
take the floor in answer to objections against the 
schema, either on the day they were offered, or on 
the next day. So it has come about that ahnost 
every day, at the beginning of the General Congre- 
gation, some one of the fathers of the committee, 
not in his own name, but in that of the committee, is 
accustomed to make a speech under the pretext of 


replying to objections, (though these very rarely are 
replied to,) but as a matter of fact, in hopes of help- 
ing on the schema by arguments from every quarter, 
and so of lessening the force of the objections by 
making a show of them to the unwary, as if they had 
been answered. Before reaching the preliminary 
voting, when the question was to be taken on the 
several amendments offered by some of the bishops, 
one of the bishops of the committee, called the rela- 
tor, mounts the platform to inform the fathers what 
the committee thinks of this and that amendment; 
adding after each amendment the words: "This 
amendment the committee accepts," or " rejects," or 
"thinks that with some verbal changes it may be 
accepted." After this "relation" has been finished, 
the reverend monsignor the sub-secretary of the 
Council puts the amendments to vote separately 
(giving the number of the amendment, and announ- 
cing the first words of it in this fashion : " This 
amendment is accepted by tlue committee" or "is reject- 
ed" or "is thus modified. All those who are in favor 
of adopting it will rise;" then, "All those who are 
in favor of rejecting it will rise." It has always 
happened that the fathers have voted in agreement 
with the views of the committee. On the first day 
of the voting, when the question was taken on the 
third part of the first amendment, the signal not hav- 
ing yet been used by the sub-secretary as it has constant- 
ly been since, & large number of persons rose, so that 
those standing had to be counted in order to come at 
the vote. Then there began to be a great confusion, 


and the amendment, although perhaps adopted by 
the majority, was postponed till the next day. When 
the next day came, the right reverend relator warned 
the fathers from the platform that the committee 
would not accept that amendment. At once, almost 
all voted by rising to reject it; only a few (as it 
commonly happens in such circumstances) voting to 
adopt it, and that rather to show their own mind 
than with the hope of accomplishing anything. 

Thus, in point of fact, the committee is the Coun- 
cil. The Council hangs upon its nod, and follows its 
dictation in everything. The committee, in turn, is 
governed by the theologians, in this sense, at least, 
that it makes their will its own. 

In a speech lately made by one of the right rev- 
erend relators, Liberal Catholics are numbered among 
the enemies of the Holy See; although the relator 
himself — who belongs to a race who for six hundred 
years have, till now, been impatient of slavery — well 
knew that there were some among the bishops who 
go by that name because they believe that there is 
some middle course to be found between absolutism 
and utter license. 




Soon after the close of the Council, a little pamphlet 
was widely circulated in Italy, under the title, " The 
Speech of a Bishop in the Vatican Council" It was so 
bold and fearless in its tone and temper, that its genu- 
ineness was doubted by many of those who knew the 
intolerance of free speech on the part of the majority 
in the Council, and the arbitrary use of the president's 
bell. Nevertheless, by many eminent Koman-catholics 
in Europe, who knew of the extraordinary boldness, 
both of thought and speech, exhibited in the Council 
by the Croat bishop, Strossmayer, and the violent clam- 
ors which he had resolutely faced, it was believed to 
be the genuine speech of that great Latin orator ; and 
as such was published in America in an English trans- 
lation. Subsequently it was disavowed in the name of 
Strossmayer, and the disavowal was promptly given to 
the public through the same journals which had circu- 
lated the speech. 

We print this document here as apocryphal indeed, 
but as a part of the literature relating to the Council, 
and an effective argument on the main question before 
that body ; while we reprobate the false pretence under 

which it was originally published.* 

* It is only fair to remember that the writer, as a Koman-cath- 
olic, had been trained in a system which justifies such things. See 
above, pp, 7, 8, 10. Many of what are charged as "Protestant 
frauds " have a Komish origin ; e. g., the Pope Joan story and the 
"Secret Instructions of the Jesuits." 


Venerable Fathers and Brethren : It is not without 
some tremors, although with a conscience free and 
tranquil before the living and heart-searching God, 
that I rise to address this august assembly. 

Sitting here among you, I have followed with close 
attention all the ;ul<livsses made in this hall, witli fer- 
vent longings that some ray of light from above might 
illumine the eyes of my understanding, and qualify me 
to vote on the canons of this holy (Ecumenical Council 
with a perfect comprehension of the case. 

Impressed by the responsibilities resting upon me, 
and for which God will call me to account, I have 
devoted myself with the most serious attention to 
studying the Scriptures of the Old and N- 
ments, demanding of these venerable monuments of 
the truth to inform me whether the holy pontiff who 
presides over us is really the successor of St. Peter, the 
vicar of Jesus Christ, and the infallible teacher of the 

To solve this grave question, I have had to turn 
away from the existing state of things, and with the 
gospel torch in hand to transport myself mentally to 
the time when neither gallicanism nor ultramontanism 
was known ; when the church had for teachers St. 
Paul and St. Peter, St. James and St. John — teachers 
whose divine authentication we cannot deny without 
calling in question what is taught by the Holy Bible, 
which here lies before me, and which the Council of 
Trent has proclaimed the "rule of faith and of 


I open, then, these sacred pages. But what ! shall 
I dare to tell it ? I find in them nothing to justify, how- 
ever remotely, the ultramontane view. Nay, more ; to 


my utter astonishment, I find nothing said about a 
pope, successor of St. Peter and vicar of Jesus Christ, 
any more than about a successor of Mohammed, who 
was not then in existence. 

Yes, Archbishop Manning, you will say that I blas- 
pheme ; and you, Bishop Pie, that I am out of my 
senses. No, no, my lord bishops, I am not blasphe- 
ming ; I am not beside myself. But now, unless I have 
failed of reading the New Testament from beginning to 
end, I declare to you before God, lifting my hand tow- 
ards yonder great crucifix, that I find in its pages no 


Do not refuse to listen to me, venerable brethren. 
Do not by your murmurs and interruptions justify 
those who declare, with Father Hyacinthe, that this 
Council is not free, but that our votes are imposed 
upon us in advance. If this were so, this august 
assembly, towards which the eyes of the whole world 
are turned, would fall into the most shameful contempt. 
If we would be great, we must be free. 

Reading, then, the Scriptures, with such attention 
as the Lord has made me capable of, I have not found 
in them a single chapter, a single verse, in which Jesus 
Christ commits to St. Peter lordship over the apostles, 
his fellow-laborers. 

If Simon, son of Jonas, had been appointed to be 
what we understand His Holiness Pius IX. to be in 
our time, it is astonishing that Christ did not say to 
the apostles, " When I am ascended up to my Father, 
ye shall all obey Simon Peter as ye have obeyed me. I 
appoint him my vicar upon earth." 

Not only is Christ silent on this point, but he has 
so little thought of giving the church a chief, that when 
he is promising thrones to his apostles, to judge the 



twelve tribes of Israel, he promises twelve of them — 
one apiece — without saying that one is to be higher 
than the rest, and is to belong to Peter. Matt. 19 : 28. 
Surely, if he had wished this to be so, he would have 
said so. What must we infer from his silence ? Logic 
tells us : Christ did not intend to make Peter chief of 
the apostolic college. 

When Christ sent forth the apostles to the conquest 
of the world, he gave to all alike the power of binding and 
loosing ; to all, the promise of the Holy Ghost. Let 
me repeat it : if he had meant to make Peter his vicar, 
he would have appointed him commander-in-chief of 
his spiritual army. 

Christ, says the Scriptures, forbade Peter and his 
colleagues to have rule and lordship and power over 
believers, like the princes of the Gentiles. Luke 22 : 25. 
If Peter had been made pope, Jesus would not have 
spoken thus ; for, according to our traditions, the 
papacy holds in its hands two swords, the symbols of 
spiritual and of temporal power. 

One fact has profoundly impressed me. When I 
observed it, I said to myself : If Peter had been pope, 
would his colleagues have suffered themselves to send 
him with St. John to Samaria to preach the gospel of 
the Son of God? Acts 8:14. 

What would you think, venerable brethren, if at 
tins moment we were to permit ourselves to depute His 
Holiness Pius IX. and His Eminence Monsignor Plan- 
tier to betake themselves to the patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, and adjure him to put an end to the Eastern 
schism ? 

But here is another fact of greater importance still. 
An oecumenical council was assembled at Jerusalem to 
decide on questions on which believers were divided. 


"Who would have convoked this council if St. Peter had 
been pope? St. Peter. Who would have presided 
over it ? St. Peter or his legates. Who would have 
formulated and promulgated its canons? St. Peter. 
"Well, now, nothing of the kind took place. The apostle 
was present at the council, like all his colleagues. But 
it was not he who framed its conclusions, but St. 
James ; and when its decrees were promulgated, this 
was done in the name of "the apostles, the elders, and 
the brethren." Acts 15. Is this the way we manage 
things in our church ? 

The deeper I go, my venerable brethren, in my 
examination, the more I am convinced that in the 
Holy Scriptures there is no appearance of the primacy 
of the son of Jonas. 

"While we teach that the church is built on St. Peter, 
St. Paul, whose authority cannot be questioned, tells 
us in his epistle to the Ephesians (2:20) that it is 
" built upon the foundation of the apostles and proph- 
ets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone." 
The same apostle is so far from believing in the 
supremacy of Peter, that he openly rebukes those who 
say, "I am of Paul and I of Apollos," 1 Cor. 1:12, in 
the same terms as those who would say, "I am of 
Peter." If, then, the latter apostle was vicar of Jesus 
Christ, St. Paul would have taken good care not to 
censure so violently those who held to his colleague. 

The same apostle Paul, enumerating the offices of 
the church, mentions apostles, prophets, evangelists, 
pastors, and teachers. Is it credible, venerable breth- 
ren, that St. Paul, the great teacher of the Gentiles, 
would have left out the greatest of all the offices — the 
papacy — if the papacy had been founded by divine 
institution ? It seems to me that this omission would 


have been no more possible than a history of this coun- 
cil that should make no mention whatever of His 
Holiness Pius IX. 

The apostle Paul in not one of his letters addri 
to the various churches makes ;iny mention of the 
primacy of Peter. If this primacy had exist d ; if, in 
short, the church bad had a supreme head, infallible in 
teaching, would the great teacher of the Gentiles have 
omitted all mention of it ? Nay. He would have writ- 
ten a long epistle on this important, this vital subject. 
"When, therefore, he is rearing the edifice of Christian 
doctrine, is it possible that he leaves out the foundation 
and the key-stone? Now, unless the apostolic church 
is to be reckoned heretical, which we neither wish nor 
dare to say, we are constrained to acknowledge that 
the church has never been more fair, more pure, nor 
more holy, than in the days when it had no pope. 

My lord bishop of Laval cannot contradict this ; for 
if any of you, venerable brethren, should dare to think 
that the church which at this day has a pope for its 
head is stronger in the faith, or purer in morals, than 
the apostolic church, he must say it openly in the face 
of the world ; for this room is the centre from which 
our words fly from pole to pole. 

I proceed : Not in the writings of St. Paul, nor in 
those of St. John or St. James, have I found any trace 
or germ of the papal power. St. Luke, the historian 
of the missionary labors of the apostles, is silent on 
this vital point. The silence of these holy men, whose 
writings are part of the canon of the inspired Scrip- 
tures, is as inexplicable, if Peter had been pope, as that 
of Thiers would have been, if he had omitted the title 
of Emperor in writing the history of Naj)oleon Bona- 


But the tiling which astounds me beyond all expres- 
sion is the silence of Peter himself. If he had been 
what we say — the vicar of Christ upon earth — he must 
have known it. If he knew it, how does it # happen 
that he never once — not one solitary time — acted as 
pope ? He might have done it on the day of Pentecost, 
when he pronounced his first discourse ; but he did 
not. He might have done it at the Council of Jerusa- 
lem ; but he did not. He might have done it at Anti- 
och ; but he did not. He might have done it in his 
two epistles to the churches ; but he did not. Can you 
imagine such a pope as this, O my venerable breth- 

If, then, we would maintain that Peter was pope, it 
necessarily follows that we must maintain that he was 
not aware of it at the time. I put it to any man with 
a head to think and a mind to reflect, whether these 
two suppositions are credible. 

To sum up, then : During the lifetime of the apos- 
tles, the church never thought of the possibility of a 
pope. To maintain the contrary, it would be necessary 
to put the Holy Scriptures into the fire or out of the 

But the question is asked, "Was not St. Peter at 
Rome? Was he not crucified here head downward? 
The chair from which he taught, the altar at which he 
said mass, are they not in this Eternal City ? 

Venerable brethren, the sojourn of St. Peter at 
Rome has no other proof than tradition. But even if 
he was bishop of Rome, what argument can be drawn 
from his episcopate here to prove his supremacy? A 
scholar of the highest rank, Scaliger, has not hesitated 
to say that the episcopate and sojourn of St. Peter at 
Rome must be classed amon^r ridiculous legends. 



But, venerable sirs, we have one dictator before 
which we all, even Kis Holiness Pius IX., must needs 
bow the head in silence. This dictator is history. 

History is not like the legends, which one can mould 
at his pleasure as the potter moulds clay ; it is the dia- 
mond, cutting on the glass words that cannot be can- 
celled. Thus far I have relied solely on the facts of 
sacred history ; and if I have found no trace of the 
papacy in the days of the apostles, the fault is not 
mine but history's. Do you wish to arraign me on a 
charge of falsehood ? You are welcome to do so. 

Finding no trace of tin- papacy in the apostolic rec- 
ords, I said to myself, "I shall find what I am seeking 
in the annals of the church." Well, I will say it frank- 
ly : I have searched for a pope through the first three 
centuries, and have not found one. 

No one of you, I hope, will question the authority 
of the holy bishop of Hippo, the great and blessed St. 
Augustine. # This pious doctor, the honor and glory of 
the catholic church, was secretary of the Council of 
Milevio. In the decrees of that venerable assembly 
we read these significant words : "Whoever shall wish 
to appeal to the bishop across the sea, shall not be 
received to the communion by any one in Africa." The 
African bishops were so far from recognizing any 
supremacy of the bishop of Rome, that they judged 
worthy of excommunication all who had recourse to 
him by appeal. 

These same bishops, in the sixth Council of Car- 
thage, held under Aurelius, bishop of that city, wrote 
to Celestine, bishop of Eome, giving him notice that 
he should not receive appeals from bishops, priests, or 
clergy of Africa ; that he should send thither neither 


legates nor commissioners ; and that he should not 
bring human pride into the church. 

That the patriarch of Rome very early formed the 
design to gain for himself supreme authority is evi- 
dent, but it is equally evident that he did not then pos- 
sess the supremacy which the ultramontanists ascribe 
to him ; for if he had, how would the African bishops, 
and Augustine, above all, have dared to prohibit ap- 
peals from their own decrees to his supreme tribunal ? 

I readily acknowledge that the patriarchate of Eome ; 
held the most prominent position. A law of Justinian \ 
says : " We ordain, according to the definitions of the i 
four councils, thaj: the most holy father of ancient \ 
Rome be the first among the bishops ; and that the J 
most exalted archbishop of Constantinople, the new 
Rome, be the second." 

You will say to me, " Then bow down to the su- 
premacy of the pope." But, venerable brethren, rush 
not so hastily to this conclusion ; for this law of Jus- 
tinian bears inscribed at its head, " Concerning the 
order of the sees of the patriarchs." Now precedence isl 
one thing, and power of jurisdiction is another. Thus, J 
for example, let us suppose there was an assembly in 
Florence of all the bishops of this kingdom ; the prece- 
dence would be given to the primate of Florence, as 
among the Orientals it is assigned to the patriarch of 
Constantinople, and in England to the archbishop of 
Canterbury. But neither the first, the second, nor the 
third could claim, from the position assigned to him, 
any jurisdiction over his colleagues. 

The precedence of the Roman bishops was derived/ 
not from divine right, but from the importance of the\ 
city in which they were established. My lord Darboyy 
of Paris is not superior in dignity to the archbishop of 


Avignon ; and yet Paris secures for him a considera- 
tion lie would not possess if Lis palace were on the 
banks of the Rhone instead of the Seine. "What is true 
in the religious order is also true in the civil and polit- 
ical order. The prefect of Florence is no more really 
a prefect than he of Pisa, but civilly and politically he 
has greater influence. 

I have said that from the first centuries the patri- 
arch of Rome aspired to the universal government of 
tin el lurch. Unhappily he succeeded ere long; but 
he had not then attained his object, for, notwithstand- 
ing his claims, the emperor Theodosius II. made a law 
by which he ordained that the patriarch of Constanti- 
nople had the same authority as the patriarch of Rome. 
Leg. < 

The fathers of the Council of Chalcedon placed the 
bishops of the "old" and the "new" Rome in the 
same order in all things, even in ecclesiastical matters. 
Can, 28. 

The sixth Council of Carthage prohibited all bishops 
from taking the title of "chief of the bishops," or 
" supreme bishop." 

As to the title of "universal bishop," which the 
popes at a later day assumed, St. Gregory I., believing 
that his successors would never embellish their names 
with it, put on record these notable words : " Not one 
of my predecessors has consented to take this profane 
title, because, when one patriarch assumes for himself 
the title of universal, the name of patriarch suffers dis- 
credit. Far, then, from every Christian be the desire 
to give himself a title which reflects discredit upon his 

The words of St. Gregory were intended for his 
colleague at Constantinople, who claimed the primacy 


of the church. Pope Pelagius II. calls John, the 
bishop of Constantinople, who aspired to the supreme 
pontificate, "impious" and "profane." "Do not re- 
gard," says he, " the title of universal, which John has 
unlawfully assumed. Let no one of the patriarchs take 
this profane title ; for what misfortunes must we not 
expect, if such elements arise among the priests? It 
would be a fulfilment of what has been predicted : ' He 
is the king of the sons of pride.' " (Pelagius II., let- 
ter 13.) 

Do not these authorities (and I have a hundred 
more just as strong) prove, as clear as the sun at noon- 
day, that it was not until a very late date that the 
bishops of Eome came to be regarded as universal 
bishops and heads of the church ? And, on the other 
hand, who does not know that, from the year 325, in 
which the first Council of Nice was held, to the year 
580, the date of the second Council of Constantinople, 
out of the 1,109 bishops who attended the first six 
councils, only 19 were occidental bishops? Who is 
there but knows that Councils were convoked by the 
emperors, without consultation with the bishop of 
Eome, and sometimes in opposition to his wishes ? 
that Hosius, bishop of Cordova, presided in the first 
Council of Nice, and drew up its canons? The same 
Hosius presided in the Council of Sardis, to the exclu- 
sion of the legates of Julius, bishop of Eome. I will 
not press this farther, venerable brethren, but pass on 
to the great argument which is alleged in proof of the 
primacy of the bishop of Eome. 


By the rock on which the holy church was built, you 
understand Peter. If this were true, it would be an 


end to the dispute. But the early fathers, who must 
surely have known something about it, did not think 
as we do on this point. 

St. Cyril, in his fourth book on the Trinity, says : 
"I believe that by the rock we ftre to understand the 
immovable faith of the apostle** St. Hilary, bishop of 
Poictiers, in his second book on the Trinity, says : 
" The rock is the blessed and sole rock of the faith, con- 
i by the mouth of St. Peter ;" and adds, in his 
sixth book on the Trinity : " It is upon this rock of the 
confession that the church is built" St. Jerome, in his 
sixth book on St. Matthew, says : "God lias founded 
his church upon this rock, and it is upon this rock that 
the apostle Peter received his name." After him, 
Clirysostom says^ in his fifty-third homily 0D St. "Mat- 
thew : '"On this rock will I build my church ;' that is, 
on the faith of the confession. And what was the 
apostle's confession? 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of 
the living God.'" Ambrose, the holy archbishop of 
Milan, on the second chapter to the Ephesians, St. Ba- 
sil of Seleucia, and the fathers of the Council of Chal- 
cedon, teach exactly the same thing. 

Of all the doctors of Christian antiquity, St. Augus- 
tine is the one who holds perhaps the first place for 
learning and piety. Hear, then, what he writes in his 
second treatise on the first epistle of John : " What 
signify the words, ' On this rock will I build my church ' ? 
On that faith, on that which is said, 'Thou art the 
Christ, the Son of the living God.' " In his one hun- 
dred and twenty-fourth treatise on St. John we find 
this most significant sentence : " On this rock which 
thou hast confessed, I will build my church, because 
Christ was the rock." 

So far was this great bishop from believing that the 


church was built on St. Peter, that he said to his peo- 
ple in his thirteenth sermon : " Thou art Peter, and on 
this rock which thou hast confessed — this rock, which 
thou hast acknowledged in declaring, 'Thou art the 
Christ, the Son of the living God' — I will build my 
church ; on myself, in that I am the Son of the living- 
God, will I build it ; on me, and not me on thee." 

St. Augustine's opinion on this famous text was the 
opinion of all Christendom in his day. 

To sum up, then, I have proved : 

1. That Jesus gave to all the apostles the same 
power as to Peter. 

2. That the apostles never recognized Peter as the 
vicar of Jesus Christ and the infallible teacher of the 

3. That Peter never thought of being pope, and 
never acted as pope. 

4. That the councils of the first four centuries, 
while acknowledging the high dignity of the bishop of 
Rome, conceded to him only a preeminence of honor ; 
never of power or jurisdiction. 

5. That the holy fathers, in the famous passage, 
" Thou art Peter, and on this rock will I build my 
church," never understood that the church was built 
upon Peter, (super Petrum,) but on the rock, (super 
petram, ) that is, on the apostle's confession of faith. 

I conclude triumphantly with history, with reason, 
with logic, with common sense, and with Christian 
conscience, that Jesus Christ conferred no supremacy 
whatever on St. Peter ; and that if the bishops of Rome 
have come to be sovereigns of the church, it has only 
been by the process of confiscating, one by one, all the 
rights of the bishops. 

History is neither Catholic, nor Anglican, nor Cal- 


vinist, nor Lutheran, nor Armenian, nor Schismatic- 
Greek, nor Ultramontane. It is what it is ; thai is, it 
is something mightier than all the decrees of oecumeni- 
cal councils. 

You may write falsely against it if you dare ; but 
you can no more destroy it than you can throw down 
the Coliseum by pulling out a brickbat If I have said 
anything which history disproves, confront me with 
history, and without a moment's hesitation I will make 
the amende honorable. Bat be patient awhile, and you 
will find that I have not yet said the whole of what I 
have undertaken to say, and must say. If the stake 
were waiting for me out on the great square of St. 
Peter's, I could not be silent ; I should be bound to 
go on. 


Bishop Dupanloup, in his famous Observations on 
this Vatican Council, has said, and justly, that if we 
declare Pius IX. infallible, we are bound, as a natural 
and necessary inference, to hold all his predecessors as 
infallible. "Well, now, my venerable brethren, hear 
how history lifts up her commanding voice to assure 
you that some popes have erred. You will have a good 
time protesting and denying, I promise you, in the face 
of such facts as these : 

Pope Victor, a. d. 192, approved Montanism, and 
afterwards condemned it. 

Marcellinus, a. d. 296-303, was an idolater. He 
entered the temple of Vesta and offered incense to that 
goddess. It was an act of weakness, you say ; but I 
reply, a vicar of Jesus Christ on the earth may die, but 
does not apostatize. 

Liberius, a. d. 358, consented to the condemnation 


of Anastasius, and professed Arianism, for the sake of 
being recalled from exile and reinstated in his see. 

Honorius, a. d. 625, adhered to monothelitism, as 
Father Gratry has fully demonstrated. 

Gregory I., a. d. 578-590, gives the name antichrist 
to any one who assumes the title universal bishop ; and, 
on the other hand, Boniface III., a. d. 607, obtains this 
title from the parricide emperor Phocas. 

Pascal II., a. d. 1088-99, and Eugenius III., a. d. 
1145-52, authorized duelling ; Julius II., a. d. 1509, and 
Pius IV., a. d. 1560, forbade it. 

Eugenius IV., a. d. 1431-39, approved the Council 
of Basle and the restoration of the clialice to the 
Bohemian church ; Pius II., a. d. 1658, revoked this 

Adrian II., a. d. 867-72, declares civil marriage 
valid; Pius VII., a. d. 1800-23, condemns it. Sixtus 
V., a. d. 1585-90, publishes an edition of the Bible, and 
by a bull recommends its perusal ; which Pius VII. 

Clement XIV., a. d. 1700-21, abolishes the order 
of Jesuits, allowed by Paul III. Pius VII. reestab- 
lishes it. 

But why resort to proofs so far off ? Has not our 
holy father Pius IX., here present, in his bull prescri- 
bing rules for the Council in case he should die during 
its session, revoked everything in the past that should 
contravene his decisions, even were it in the decisions 
of his predecessors ? And certainly if Pius IX. has 
ever spoken ex cathedra, is it not when from the depths 
of his tomb he imposes his own will on the princes of 
the church ? 

I should never get through, venerable brethren, if I 
were to lay before your eyes all the contradictions of 


the popes in their teachings. If, then, you proclaim 
the infallibility of the present pope, you will be forced 
either to prove what is impossible! that the popes have 
not contradicted themselves, or to declare that it is 
revealed to you by the Holy Ghost, that papal infalli- 
bility dates only from the year 1870. AVill you have 
the hardihood to do this? 

The public may perhaps pass by with indifference 
theological questions, the importance of which they do 
not apprehend. But however indifferent they may be 
to principles, they are not at all indifferent to facte. 
Don't be deluded ! If you decree the dogma of papal 
infallibility, oftr antagonist! the Protestants will leap 
into the breach with all the more boldness, for the fact 

that they will have history on their side and again 
while we shall have, to oppose to them, nothing but 
our negations. What can we say to them, when they 
begin to parade before the public the Hue of the bishops 
of Rome from Linus down to His Holiness Pius IX. ? 

Oh, if they had all been such as Pius IX. we could 
beat them all along the line. But, alas, alas ! it is very 
different from this ! 

Pope Vigilius, a. d. 538, bought the papacy from 
Belisarius, agent of the emperor Justinian ; though to 
be sure he broke his promise and paid nothing. Is 
this mode of gaining the tiara canonical ? The second 
Council of Chalcedon formally condemned it, for in one 
of its canons we read: "The bishop who gains his 
bishopric by bribes must lose it and be degraded." 

Pope Eugenius IV., a. d. 1145, imitated Vigilius. 
St. Bernard, the bright star of that century, rebuked 
him thus : " Can you point out to me one man in this 
great city of Rome, who would have taken you as pope 
unless he had received cither gold or silver ?"' 


Can it be, venerable brethren, that a pope who sets 
up his money-changers' table at the temple door is 
inspired by the Holy Ghost ? that he has authority to 
teach the church infallibly ? 

The history of Formosus you know too well to need 
that I should deepen its impression on you. Stephen 
XI. caused his body to be disentombed, clothed with 
pontifical robes, and cast into the Tiber, after he had 
cut off from it the fingers with which he had given the 
benediction — pronouncing him perjured and illegiti- 
mate. He was himself afterwards imprisoned by the 
people, poisoned, and strangled ; but behold the due 
revenges of time : Romanus, the successor of Stephen, 
and after him John X., reestablished the memory of 
Formosus ! 

You will say, "These are fictions, not history." 
Fictions, my lords ! Go to the Vatican library and 
read Plotinus, the historian of the papacy, and the 
annals of Baronius, a. d. 897. They are facts, which we 
would gladly cancel, for the honor of the Holy See ; 
but when the question is on the decreeing of a dogma 
which may occasion a great schism among us, the love 
we bear to our venerable mother church — catholic, 
apostolic, and Roman — forbids us to be silent. I 
proceed : 

The learned cardinal Baronius, speaking of the 
papal court, says (give attention, venerable brethren, to 
these words) : " What was the aspect of Rome at that 
time, and how opprobrious, when nobody had power 
at Rome but all-prevalent courtesans ! These were the 
persons who granted, transferred, took away bishop- 
rics ; and, horrible to believe, their lovers, the false 
popes, came to be placed on the throne of St. Peter." 
Baronius, Anno 912. 


You. reply, "These were false popes, not true." 
Very well ; but in that case, venerable brethren, if for 
fifty years the Roman See was occupied only by anti- 
popes, where will you find the thread of pontifical suc- 
cession ? Has the church been able to do without its 
chief for a century and B half, and go headless ? Look 
at it! The greater part of these anti-popes figure in 
the genealogical tree of the papacy ; and certainly they 
must have been such men as Baroniufl describes, for 
Genebrardus, the great flatterer of the popes, has 
dared to say in his chronicles, a. d. 901, "This is an 
unfortunate age, since for about one hundred and fifty 
years the popefl have entirely fallen away from the 
virtue of their predecessors, and have been more like 

apostate* than apostles." 

I can well understand how the face of the illustrious 
Baronius must have been covered with blushes at nar- 
rating these facts about the Roman bishops. Speaking 
of John XL, a. d. 931, bastard son of Pope Sergius 
and Marozia, he wrote these words in his annals : "The 
holy church, that is, the Roman church, has had to be 
trodden under foot by such a monster !" And John 
XII. , elected pope at the age of eighteen, by the influ- 
ence of courtesans, was no whit better than his prede- 

Venerable brethren, I deplore the necessity of stir- 
ring up such a slough. I keep silence respecting 
Alexander XL, father and lover of Lucretia ; and I 
pass by John XXII. , who denied the immortality of the 
soul, and was deposed by the holy (Ecumenical Coun- 
cil of Constance. Some assert that this council was no 
more than a provincial council. And this may be so ; 
but if you deny it all authority, to be logically consis- 
tent, you must regard the nomination of Martin T., 


a. d. 1417, as illegitimate. And then, what will become 
of the papal succession ? "Will you be able to find its 
thread ? 

I make no mention of the schisms which have dis- 
honored the church. In those disgraceful days the 
Eoman See was occupied by two competitors, and 
sometimes by three. Which of these was the true 
pope ? 

To sum up, then : If you declare the infallibility of 
the present bishop of Rome, you will be held bound to 
prove the infallibility of all his predecessors, without a 
single exception. But can you do this, with history 
lying open and showing as clear as sunshine that the 
popes have erred in their teaching ? Can you do it, 
and maintain that popes who were guilty of avarice, of 
incest, of murder, of simony, were nevertheless vicars 
of Jesus Christ ? Oh, venerable brethren, to maintain 
this monstrous thing would be to betray Christ worse 
than Judas did. It would be flinging mud in his 

Believe me, venerable brethren, you cannot make 
history over again. There it stands, and there it will 
stand for ever, to protest mightily against the dogma 
of papal infallibility. You may proclaim it unanimous- 
ly, but you will have to do without one vote, and that 
is mine. 

The eyes of true believers are upon us ; they look 
to us for the remedy of the numberless evils by which 
the church is dishonored. Shall we disappoint their 
hopes? What account could we give to God, if we 
should let slip this solemn opportunity which he has 
given us for preserving the integrity of the true faith ? 

Let us hold it fast, my brethren ; let us arm our- 
selves with a>holy courage ; let us put forth one mighty 

Vatican Council. 9 


and generous effort ; let us turn to the teachings of the 
apostles, for aside from these we have nothing but 
error, darkness, and false tradition. 

Let us make use of our reason and understanding 
by taking the apostles and the prophets as our sole 
infallible teachers on that greatest of all questions, 
"What shall I do to be saved?" This being decided, 
we shall have got the foundation laid for our dogmatic 

Setting our feet firmly on the solid and chang< 
rock of the Holy Scriptures inspired of God, we will go 
boldly forth against the world, and like the ap 
Paul, in the presence of the free-thinkers, we will know 
nothing but Jesus Christ and him erueilied. AVe will 
conquer by the preaching <>t' the I ss of the 

cross, as Paul conquere I the orators of Greece and 
Rome, and the church of Rome will have its own 
glorious '89 ! 

You may protest, gentlemen, and cry "Anathema!" 
but you know perfectly well that you are not protesting 
against me, but against the holy apostles, under whose 
protection I would that this Council might place the 
church. Ah, if bound about with their grave-clothes 
they were to come forth from their sepulchres, would 
they speak to you in any different strain from mine ? 

What answer will you make them, when out of their 
writings I tell you that the papacy has departed from 
that gospel of the Son of God which they preached 
with such courage, and sealed with their generous 
blood ? Will you have the hardihood to say to them : 
"We prefer to your instructions those of our popes, 
our Bellarmines, our Ignatius Loyolas? No, no! a 
thousand times no ! unless you have closed your ears 
that you may not hear, and blinded your e$ r es that you 


may not see, and made gross your hearts that you may 
not understand. 

Ah, if He who sitteth in the heavens is disposed to 
make heavy his hand on us, as once on Pharaoh, he 
has no need to suffer the troops of Garibaldi to drive 
us out of the Eternal City ; he need only let us go on 
to make Pius IX. a god, as we have made the blessed 
Virgin a goddess. 

Pause, oh, pause, my venerable brethren, on that 
hateful and absurd declivity on which you find your- 
selves. Save the church from the shipwreck that 
threatens her, by seeking in the Holy Scriptures alone 
the rule of faith which we must believe and profess. 

I have spoken. God be my helper ! 




The Council, not yet formally concluded, but to all 
intents and purposes defunct, has left as a legacy to 
the Roman-catholic church, besides a history of scan- 
dals, and the hidden seeds of discord and weakness, 
two documents under the title of "Dogmatic Constitu- 

The first of these, entitled " Dogmatic Constitution 
on the Catholic Faith," is of small consequence in 
ecclesiastical history, inasmuch as it treats, under four 
heads, of matters on which there was little difference 
among those who were likely to be affected by the 
authority from which it proceeded. The Roman-cath- 
olics did not need it, and the atheists, pantheists, and 
heretics against whom it was levelled were sure to pay 
no attention to it. It is sufficient to the purpose of 
this volume, omitting the verbose periods of the " con- 
stitution," to give the four chapters of Canons in which 
the substance of the constitution is briefly summed up 
negatively in the form of curses against the contrary 



1. If any one shall deny one true God, Creator and 
Lord of things visible and invisible ; let him be anath- 


2. If any one shall not be ashamed to amrni that 
nothing exists except matter ; let him be anathema. 

3. If any one shall say that the substance and 
essence of God and of all things is one and the same ; 
let him be anathema. 

4. If any one shall say that finite beings, both cor- 
poreal and spiritual, or at least spiritual, have emana- 
ted from the divine substance ; or that the divine 
essence, by the manifestation and evolution of itself, 
becomes all things ; or lastly, that God is universal or 
indefinite being, which by determining itself constitutes 
the universality of things, distinct according to genera, 
species, and individuals ; let him be anathema. 

5. If any one confess not that the world and all 
things which are contained in it, both spiritual and 
material, have been, in their whole substance, pro- 
duced by God out of nothing ; or shall say that God 
created, not by his will, free from all necessity, but by 
a necessity equal to that whereby he loves himself ; or 
shall deny that the world was made for the glory of 
God ; let him be anathema. 


1. If any one shall say that the one true God, our 
Creator and Lord, cannot be certainly known by the 
natural light of human reason through created things ; 
let him be anathema. 

2. If any one shall say that it is impossible or in- 
expedient that man should be taught by divine revolu- 
tion concerning God and the worship to be paid to 
him ; let him be anathema. 

3. If any one shall say that man cannot be raised 
by divine power to a higher than natural knowledge 
and perfection, but can and ought, by a continuous 


progress, to arrive at length, of himself, to the pos- 
session of all that is true and good ; let him be 

4. If anyone shall not receive as Bacred and canon- 
ical the books of Holy Scripture, entire with all their 
parts, as the holy Synod of Trent has enumerated them,* 
or shall deny that they have been divinely inspired ; let 
him be anathema. 


1. If any one shall say that human reason is so 
independent that faith cannot be enjoined niton it by 
God ; let him be anathema. 

2. If any one shall say that divine faith is not dis- 
tinguished from natural knowledge of God and of moral 
truths, and therefore that it is not requisite tor divine 
faith that revealed truth be believed because of the 
authority of God who reveals it ; let him be anathema. 

3. If any one shall say that divine revelation can- 
not be made credible by outward signs, and therefore 
that men ought to be moved to faith solely by the inter- 
nal experience of each, or by private inspiration ; let 
him be anathema. 

4. If any one shall say that miracles are impossible, 
and therefore that all the accounts regarding them, 
even those contained in holy Scripture, are to be dis- 
missed as fabulous or mythical ; or that miracles can 
never be known with certainty, and that the divine ori- 
gin of Christianity cannot be proved by them ; let him 
be anathema. 

5. If any one shall say that the assent of Christian 
faith is not a free act, but is inevitably produced by the 
arguments of human reason ; or that the grace of God 

[* This enumeration includes the Apocrypha.] 


is necessary for that living faith only which worketh 
by charity ; let him be anathema. 

6. If any one shall say that the condition of the 
faithful, and of those who have not yet attained to the 
only true faith, is on a par, so that Catholics may have 
just cause for doubting, with suspended assent, the 
faith which they have already received under the magis- 
terium of the church, until they shall have obtained a 
scientific demonstration of the credibility and truth of 
their faith ; let him be anathema. 


1. If any one shall say that in divine revelation 
there are no mysteries, truly and properly so called, 
but that all the doctrines of faith can be understood 
and demonstrated from natural principles, by properly 
cultivated reason ; let him be anathema. 

2. If any one shall say that human sciences are to 
be so freely treated that their assertions, although 
opposed to revealed doctrine, are to be held as true, 
and cannot be condemned by the church ; let him be 

3. If any one shall assert it to be possible that 
sometimes, according to the progress of science, a sense 
is to be given to doctrines propounded by the church 
other than what it has understood and understands ; 
let him be anathema. 

Therefore we,* fulfilling the duty of our supreme 
pastoral office, entreat by the mercies of Jesus Christ, 
and by the authority of the same our God and Saviour 
we command, all the faithful of Christ, and especially 
those who are set over others, or are charged with the 
office of instruction, that they earnestly and diligently 

* That is, the pope, ' ' with the approval of the holy Council. " 


apply themselves to ward off and eliminate these errors 
from the church, and to spread the light of pure faith. 
And since it is not sufficient to shun heretical prav- 
ity, unless those errors also be diligently avoided which 
more or less nearly approach it, we admonish all men 
of the further duty of observing those constitutions 
and decrees by which such erroneous opinions as are 
not here specifically enumerated, have been proscribed 
and condemned by this Holy See.* 

The other constitution adopted, by the Council 
bears the title, u Firti Dogmatic Constitution on the 
Church <>/' Christ." 

After a page or two of preamble, begins the first 
chapter, entitled, " Of the. Institution <>/ the Apostolic 

Primacy in Bl r," which " teaches and declares 

that according to the testimony of the gospel, the pri- 
macy of jurisdiction over the universal church of God 
was immediately and directly promised and given to 
blessed Peter the apostle, by Christ the Lord." The 
page of scriptural argument with which this proposi- 
tion is sustained it is unimportant to produce, inas- 
much as the Council claims infallibility only in the d< >g- 
mas it enunciates, and not at all in the reasons it gives 
for them. Confessedly, the arguments by which it sup- 
ports its infallible dogmas may be every one of them 
fallacious ;f and inasmuch as in the present case they 
have been refuted in advance in the speech of Arch- 
bishop Kenrick,J it would be idle to transcribe them. 

[* This concluding paragraph is the one insidiously appended 
to the constitution "just to round it off handsomely," and after- 
wards treacherously claimed as a concession of infallibility. See 
above, pp. 83, 163.] 

\ See Archbishop Kenrick, above, p. 135. 
% See pp. 105-120. For the full text of these Constitutions, 


For the same reason, Chapter II., "On the Perpetuity of 
the Primacy of Blessed Peter in the Rowan Pontiffs," may 
be quoted "by its title only." We come to the real 
work of the Council only when we reach the last two 
chapters, which are as follows : 



Wherefore, resting on plain testimonies of the 
sacred Scriptures, and adhering to the plain and ex- 
press decrees both of our predecessors, the Roman pon- 
tiffs, and of the General Councils, we renew the defini- 
tion of the (Ecumenical Council of Florence, in virtue 
of which all the faithful of Christ must believe that the 
holy apostolical see and the Roman pontiff possesses 
the primacy over the whole world, and that the Roman 
pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, prince of the 
apostles, and is true vicar of Christ, and head of the 
whole church, and father and teacher of all Christians ; 
and that full power was given to him in blessed Peter 
to rule, feed, and govern the universal church by Jesus 
Christ our Lord ; as is also contained in the acts of the 
General Council and in the sacred Canons. 

Hence we teach and declare that by the appoint- 
ment of our Lord the Roman church possesses a supe- 
riority of ordinary power over all other churches, and 
that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff, 
which is truly episcopal, is immediate ; to which all, of 
whatever rite and dignity, both pastors and faithful, 
both individually and collectively, are bound, by their 
duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, 

in Latin unci English, see Abp. Manning's Petri PrivUec/ium, 3. 



to submit, not only in matters which belong to faith 
and morals, but also in those that appertain to the 
discipline and government of the church throughout 
the world, so that the church of Christ may be one 
flock under one supreme pastor, through the preserva- 
tion of unity both of communion and of profession of 
the same faith with the Koman pontiff. This is the 
teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can de- 
viate without loss of faith and of salvation. 

But so far is this power of the supreme pontiff from 
being any prejudice to the ordinary and immediate 
power of episcopal jurisdiction, by which bishops, who 
have been set by the Holy Ghost to succeed and hold 
the place of the apostles, feed and govern each his own 
flock, as true pastors, that this their episcopal author- 
ity is really asserted, strengthened, and protected by 
the supreme and universal pastor; in accordance with 
the words of St. Gregory the Great : "My honor is 
the honor of the whole church. My honor is the firm 
strength of my brethren. I am truly honored when 
the honor each and all is not withheld."* * 

Further, from this supreme power possessed by the 
Roman pontiff of governing the universal church, it 
follows that he has t]^e right of free communication 

* Letters of St Gregory the Great, book 8. 30, vol. 2, p. 919, 
Benedictine edition, Paris, 1705. [The disclaimer in this para- 
graph was plainly intended as a salve for the soreness of those 
bishops who had protested against this statement of the supreme 
and immediate jurisdiction of the pope in all dioceses, as being 
destructive of the dignity and almost of the function of the bish- 
ops. It was much to concede to him the supreme mediate jurisdic- 
tion, reaching the priests and laity through the medium of the 
bishop. But to concede to him the right of governing the priests 
and laity directly, over the head of the bishop, through legates 
and vicars apostolic, was to concede everything ; and well deserved 
to be repaid, at least with a few such civil words.] 


with the pastors of the whole church, and with their 
flocks, that these may be taught and ruled by him in 
the way of salvation. "Wherefore we condemn and 
reject the opinions of those who hold that the commu- 
nication between this supreme head and the pastors 
and their flocks may lawfully be impeded ; or who 
make this communication subject to the secular power, 
so as to maintain that whatever is done by the apos- 
tolic see or by its authority, for the government of the 
church, cannot have force or value unless it be con- 
firmed by the assent of the secular power. And since, 
by the divine right of apostolic primacy, the Roman 
pontiff is placed over the universal church, we further 
teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the 
faithful,* and that in all cases the decision of which 
belongs to the church recourse may be had to this tri- 
bunal, f and that none may reopen the judgment of 
the apostolic see, than whose authority there is no 
greater, nor can any lawfully review its judgment. J 
Wherefore they err from the right course who assert 
that it is lawful to appeal* from the judgments of the 
Roman pontiffs to an (Ecumenical Council as to an 
authority higher than that of the Roman pontiff. 

* Brief of Pius VI., Super soliditate, of November 28, 1786. 

f Acts of the Fourteenth General Council, (Second of Lyons,) 
a. d. 1274. • 

X Letter VIII. of Pope Nicholas L, a. d. 858, to the Emperor 
Michael. [It is under this principle that the Roman-catholic 
church, which now ostentatiously disclaims the right which it for- 
merly as distinctly claimed, of attempting the overthrow of a sec- 
ular government by releasing its subjects from their oath of alle- 
giance, may, when the occasion arises, reach the same end by de- 
ciding that the oath is no longer binding and allegiance no longer 
due. The next paragraph, which declares the pope's sovereignty 
to extend not only to faith, but to morals, does (as this word is 
constantly used by Roman-catholic writers) expressly assert that 
the decision of such political questions belongs to the pope. ] 


If then any shall say that the Roman pontiff has 
the office merely of inspection or direction, and not 
full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the univer- 
sal church, not only in things which belong to faith 
and morals, but also in those which relate to the disci- 
pline and government of the church spread throughout 
the world ; or assert that he possesses merely the prin- 
cipal part and not all the fullness of this supreme 
power ; or that this power is not ordinary and imme- 
diate, both over each and all the churches, and over 
each and all the pastors and the faithful ; let him be 



Moreover, that the supreme power of teaching is 
also included in the apostolic primacy which the Roman 
pontiff, as the successor of Peter, prince of the apos- 
tles, possesses over the whole church, this holy see has 
always held, the perpetual practice of the church con- 
firms, and (Ecumenical Councils also have declared, 
especially those in which the East with the West met 
in the union of faith and charity. For the fathers of 
the Fourth Council of Constantinople, following in the 
footsteps of their predecessors, gave forth this solemn 
profession : The first condition of salvation is to keep 
the rule of the true faith.* And because the sentence 
of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be passed by, who 
said, " Thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build 

[* This passage illustrates how closely the whole fabric of the 
Romish system is connected with that primary perversion which 
Archbishop Kenrick so well exposes in his Speech, pp. 99-101 ; 
the perversion of the word "faith" from its evangelical meaning 
of trust, to signify the acceptance .of dogmas.] 


my church," Matt. 16 : 18, these things which have 
been said are approved by events, because in the apos- 
tolic see the Catholic religion and her holy and well- 
known doctrine have always been kept undefiled. De- 
siring, therefore, not to be in the least degree separated 
from the faith and doctrine of that see, we hope that 
we may deserve to be in the one communion which the 
apostolic see preaches, in which is the entire and true 
solidity of the Christian religion.* And, with the 
approval of the Second Council of Lyons, the Greeks 
professed that the Holy Roman Church enjoys supreme 
and full primacy and preeminence over the whole 
Catholic church, which it truly and humbly acknowl- 
edges that it has received with the plenitude of power 
from our Lord himself in the person of blessed Peter, 
prince or head of the apostles, whose successor the 
Roman pontiff is ; and as the a£>ostolic see is bound 
before all others to defend the truth of faith, so also if 
any questions regarding faith sjiall arise they must be 
denned by its judgment. Finally, the Council of Flor- 
ence defined : That the Roman pontiff is the true vicar 
of Christ, and the head of the whole church and the 
father and teacher of all Christians ; and that to him 
in blessed Peter was delivered by our Lord Jesus Christ 
the full power of feeding, ruling, and governing the 
whole church. 

To satisfy this pastoral duty our predecessors ever 
made unwearied efforts that the salutary doctrine of 
Christ might be propagated among all the nations of 
the earth, and with equal care watched that it might 
be preserved genuine and pure where it had been re- 
ceived. Therefore the bishops of the whole world, 

° Formula of St. Hormisdas, subscribed by the fathers of the 
Eighth General Council, (Fourth of Constantinople,) a. d. 8G9. 


now singly, now assembled in synod, following the long 
established custom of churches and the form of the 
ancient rule, sent word to this apostolic see of those 
dangers especially which sprang up in matters of faith, 
that there the losses of faith might be most effectually 
repaired where the faith cannot fail.* And the Roman 
pontiffs, according to the exigencies of times and cir- 
cumstances, sometinus assembling (Ecumenical Coun- 
cils, or asking for the mind of the church scattered 
throughout tin; world, sometimes by particular synods, 
sometimes using other helps which divine Providence 
supplied, denned as to be held those things which with 
the help of God they had recognized as conformable 
with the sacred Scriptures and apostolic traditions. 
For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors 
of Peter thai by His revelation they might make known 
new doctrines, but that by his ce they might 

inviolably keep and faithfully expound the revelation or 
deposit of faith delivered through the apostles. And 
indeed all the venerable fathers have embraced, and 
the holy orthodox doctors have venerated and followed 
their apostolic doctrine ; knowing most fully that this 
see of holy Peter remains ever free from all blemish of 
error according to the divine promise of the Lord our 
Saviour made to the prince of his disciples : "I have 
prayed for thee that thy faith fail not, and, when thou 
art converted, confirm thy brethren." 

This gift, then, of truth and never-failing faith was 
conferred by heaven upon Peter and his successors in 
this chair, that they might perform their high office for 
the salvation of all ; that the whole flock of Christ, 
kept away by them from the poisonous food of error, 
might be nourished with the pasture of heavenly doc- 
* Letter of St. Bernard to Pope Innocent II. 


trine ; that the occasion of schism being removed, the 
whole church might be kept one, and, resting on its 
foundation, might stand firm against the gates of 

But since in this very age, in which the salutary 
efficacy of the apostolic office is most of all required, 
not a few are found who take away from its authority, 
we judge it altogether necessary solemnly to assert the 
prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God vouch- 
safed to join with the supreme pastoral office. 

Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition re- 
ceived from the beginning of the Christian faith, for 
the glory of God our Saviour, the exaltation of the 
Catholic religion, and the salvation of Christian peo- 
ple, the sacred Council approving, we teach and define 
that it is a dogma divinely revealed : that the Roman 
pontiff, when he speaks ex catkedrb, that is, when in 
discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of all 
Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic author- 
ity he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to 
be held by the universal church,* by the divine assist- 
ance promised to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of 
that infallibility with which the divine Kedeemer willed 
that his church should be endowed for defining doc- 
trine, faith, or morals ; and that therefore such defini- 
tions of the Roman pontiff are irreformable of them- 
selves, and not from the consent of the church. 

[* These various limitations are equivalent (as Bishop Dupan- 
loup has suggested in his Farewell Letter — Appendix to Father 
Hyacinthe's Discourses, vol. 2) to a definition of the fallibility of 
the pope on all other occasions than those of ex cathedra utterance. 
For instance, while the decree certifies that the insolent bull Unam 
Sanctum, which claims for the pope secular supremacy over all 
civil governments, (see above, p. 125,) is infallible and irreformable, 
i( .virtually warns us that the Allocution addressed to certain eccla- 


But if any one — which may God avert — presume to 
contradict this our definition ; let him be anathema. 

The work of examining and comparing the enor- 
mous series of papal document 1 and genuine, 
to see which of them come within the terms of infalli- 
bility, is a work yet to be executed by scholars, 3 

terms have been fixed with caution, in order to exclude 
the notoriously heretical teachings of certain of the ear- 
lier popes, as Honorius and Libcrius. According to 

siastics by Pius IX. in July or August, 1871, in whichhe distinctly 
repudiate! the doctrine of U poken by him as 

a mere man, and is not in the least to In- busted Speaking in this 
Allocution "as a private doctor," and then for.' I'alliUy, ho claims 
that the overthrow of governments by popes was never atti 

under the pretence of a divine right, hut only by virtue of the pub- 
tie law and usage of li and that the contrary statement 
is an Ugly calumny, designed to em 1 relations of the 
Holy See with civil governments. 

The claim is a timid tergiversation, extorted hy the threatening 
posture of events, and quite unworthy the author of the Syllabus. 
Another private doctor, whose authority far outweighs that of Dr. 
Mastai-Ferretti, to wit, Dr. Orestes A. Brownson, declares that " the 
power she [the church] exercised over sovereigns in the middle 
ages was not a usurpation, was not derived from the concessions 
of princes or the consent of the people, but it was and is hers by 
ight; and whoso resists it rebels against the King of kings." 
.... "All history fails to show an instance in which the pope, in 
deposing a temporal sovereign, professes to do it by the authority 
vested in him by the pious belief of the faithful, generally-received 
maxims, the opinion of the age, the concessions of sovereigns, or 
the civil constitution and public laws of Catholic states. On the 
contrary, he always claims to do it by the authority committed to 
him as the successor of the prince of the apostles .... by the 
authority of Almighty God." . . . "Either the popes usurped the 
authority they exercised over sovereigns in the middle ages, or 
they possessed it by virtue of their title as vicars of Jesus Christ 
on earth." Brownson's Quarterly Review, April, 1854. See the 
quotation more in full at p. 583 of a convenient book of reference, 
"Romanism as it Is," by Rev. S. W. Barnum, Hartford, 1871.] 


some Catholic scholars, no document of all the first 
twelve centuries of church history bears this charac- 
ter.* But according to others, of equal authority, 
there are instances of ex cathedra teaching as far back 
as the age of Cyprian and Pope St. Stephen, f The best 
that can be said is that it is still left by the Council a 
doubtful question, and probably one that can never be 
fully settled without a special papal revelation, what 
documents are to be reckoned as belonging to the new 
Bible of the Roman-catholic church. 

Four, however, of those which are most distinctly 
certified to the public, under the terms of the Vatican 
dogma, as infallible and "irreformable," demand atten- 

I. The first is the bull Unam Sanctam addressed to 
the whole Christian world in the year 1302, by Boni- 
face VIII. , which teaches "that there are in the church 
and in its power two swords, the spiritual and the tem- 
poral : that it belongs to the spiritual power to estab- 
lish the temporal and to judge it when it is in the 
wrong ; so that if the secular power goes astray it is 
to be judged by the spiritual power ; if the inferior 
spiritual power errs, it is to be judged by the higher ; 
but if the supreme spiritual power errs, it can be judged 
by God only, and not by man ; and that this supreme 
authority, not human, but divine, is vested in Peter and 

* Quirinus, p. 131. 

t See the long Latin tractate by Bishop Ketteler of Mayence, 
entitled " Quwstio" in Documenta ad lllustrandum Concilium Vati- 
canum. Speaking of the pope's letter to Cyprian on the rebaptism 
of those baptized by heretics, the bishop (now a fierce adherent of 
infallibility) remarks : " If .there is any such thing as a definition 
ex cathedrd, this was one," and then proceeds to show that instead 
of being deferred to as infallible or even authoritative, it was op- 
posed with all his might by that apostle of the authority of the 
Roman see, St. Cyprian himself. Pp. 39, 40. 


his successors ; and that every human creature is sub- 
ject to the pope by reason of sin."* 

II. Paul IV. issued with peculiar solemnity, and 
directly ex cathalra, his bull Gum ex Apostclatus officio.^ 
He had consulted his cardinals, and obtained their 
signatures to it, and then defined, "out of the pleni- 
tude of his apostolic power," the following proposi- 
tions : 

(1.) The pope, who as "Pontifex Maximus" is 
God's representative on earth, has full authority and 
power over nations and kingdoms ; he judges all, and 
can in this world be judged by none. 

(2.) All princes and monarchs, as well as bishops, 
as soon as they fall into heresy or schism, without the 
need of any legal formality, arc irrevocably deposed, 
deprived for ever of all rights of government, and incur 
sentence of death. 

(3.) None 1 may venture to give any aid to an heret- 
ical or sehismatical prince, not even the mere services 
of common humanity ; any monarch who does so for- 
feits his doroinions and property, which lapse to princes 
obedient tojthe pope, on their gaining possession of 
them. . . . JV. 

Such is this most solemn declaration, issued as late 
as 1558, subscribed by the cardinals, and afterwards 
expressly confirmed and renewed by Pius V., that the 
pope, by virtue of his absolute authority, can depose 
every monarch, hand over every country to foreign 
invasion, deprive every one of his property, and that 
without any legal formality, and not only on account 

* See above, in Abp. Kenrick's Speech, p. 125 ; and in "Fou- 
voir du Pape au Moyen Age," p. 571. Paris, 1815. 

t The account of this bull is abridged from Janus— Pope and 
Council— pp. 311, 312, Am. ed. 


of dissent from the doctrines approved at Rome, or of 
separation from the church, but for merely offering an 
asylum for such dissidents, so that no rights of dynasty 
or nation are respected, but nations are to be given up 
to all the horrors of a war of conquest. 

EEL Far graver and more permanent consequences 
resulted from the other document,* the bull In Ccena 
Domini, which the popes had labored at for centuries, 
and which was finally brought out in the pontificate of 
Urban VIIL, in 1627. It had appeared first in its 
broader outlines under Gregory XL, in 1372. Gregory 
XII., in 1411, renewed it, and under Pius V., in 1568, 
it preserved its substantial identity, with certain addi- 
tions. According to his decision it was to remain as 
an eternal law in Christendom, and above all to be im- 
posed on bishops, penitentiaries, and confessors, as a 
rule they were to impress in the confessional on the 
consciences of the faithful. If ever any document bore 
the stamp of an ex cathedrh decision, it is this, which 
has been over and over again confirmed by so many 

This bull excommunicates and curses .all heretics 
and schismatics, as well as all who favtftefcor defend 
them — all princes and magistrates, therefore, who allow 
the residence of heterodox persaais in their country. It 
excommunicates and curses all who keep or print the 
books of heretics without papal permission, all — wheth- 
er private individuals or universities, or other corpora- 
tions — who appeal from a papal decree to a future Gen- 
eral Council. It encroaches on the independence and 
sovereign rights of* states, in the imposition of taxes, 
the exercise of judicial authority, and the punishment 
of the crimes of clerics, by threatening with excommu- 
* Seo Janus, Pope and Council, 313. 


nication and anathema those who perform such acts 
without special papal permission ; and these penalties 
fall not only on the supreme authorities of the state, 
but on the whole body of civil functionaries, down to 
scribes, jailers, and executioners. The pope alone can 
absolve from these censures, except in artieiUo mortis. . . . 
This bull was annually published in Rome on Maundy- 
Thursday for two hundred years and if it has 

ceased to be read out on that day, as before, since 
Clement XIV. 's time, still it is always treated, as Cre- 
tinean-Joly states, in the Roman tribunals and congre- 
gations, as having legal force.* 

TV. A fourth document on which authority equal to 
that of divine inspiration IS now declared to be con- 
ferred is the notorious encyclical Quanta Cura, with its 
appended Syllabus, This, the chief of the recent utter- 
ances of the chair of Peter, has already been transcribed 
in full upon the pages of this volume. f But in one, 
especially, of its censures, the infallibihty of this docu- 
ment is pledged to the vindication of all the monstrous 
and hideous usurpations and tyrannies of which the 
popes in all past ages have been guilty. The twenty- 

* The bull In i 'cunu Domini is quoted by Archbishop Manning 
as being in full force at this day, in / . 3. 19, note. 

But as if to repudiate in the most unmistakable terms the excuses 
otfered by those Roman-catholic apologists in free countries, who 
pretend that this " irreformable " and infallible bull has become 
obsolete, and that the Romish church has ceased to be a tyranni- 
cal and persecuting institution, one of the first acts of the reigning 
pope after the assembling of the Council was to fulminate a new 
bull, Apostolicce Skdis, '-virtually intended as a renewal or confir- 
mation of the bull In Coenu Domini." "Certain excommunications 
nobody paid any attention to are dropped out, as, for instance, of 
sovereigns and governments who levy taxes without permission of 
the pope. But new censures of wider application have come into 
their place." Quirinus, 100, 105. 

f See above, pp. 22-48. 


third article of the Syllabus stigmatizes as one of "the 
principal errors of our time" the statement that "the 
Roman pontiffs have exceeded the limits of their power 
or usurped the rights of princes."* 'What atrocities 
against the rights of man and the liberty of nations 
are hereby justified and claimed as within the just 
power of the popes for all future time, all history de- 

According to the new dogma, the pope may by 
divine right give whole nations into slavery on account 
of some measure of their sovereign. 

He has the right to make slaves of a foreign nation 
merely because they are not Catholics. 

He has the right to rob innocent populations, cities, 
regions, or countries en masse, with the sole exception 
of infants and the dying, of all those services which he 
declares essential to salvation, merely because the sov- 
ereign or government has violated a papal command 
or some right of the "church. f 

He has the right to make a present of whole coun- 
tries inhabited by non- Christian peoples, and hand over 

* See above, p. 39. In the Letter Apostolic Multiplices inter, 
here referred to in the Syllabus, this statement is cited as the very- 
climax of the horrors contained in the book under censure. " Fi- 
nally, not to speak of a multitude of other errors, to such a pitch 
of audacity and impiety does he proceed, as to pretend, with nefa- 
rious insolence, that popes of Rome and (Ecumenical Councils 
have exceeded the limits of their power, and usurped the rights of 
princes, and also erred in definitions of faith and morals." fie- 
cueil des Allocutions consistoriales, Encycliques, etc., cities dans VEn- 
cyclique ct le Syllabus du 8 Dicembre, 1864. Paris, 1865. In this 
edition, published by the "printers to the pope," the French 
translation is untrustworthy, two significant clauses being sup- 
pressed from the single sentence above quoted. 

f Pope Clement IV., in 1265, "did not exceed his powers" 
when he applied this process to Charles of Anjou, sheerly to en- 
force the prompt collection of a debt. Janus, 12. 


all rights of sovereignty and property in them to any 
Christian prince he may pin 

He has the right to incite princes, by promises of 
forgiveness of sins and heaven, to make war on the 
enemies of his secular authority. 

He lias the right to provide for the Inquisition by 
direct and personal legislation of his own, depriving 
those accused before the holy office of any advocate to 
defend them, authorizing the application of the tor- 
ture, obliging the magistrate to carry out the capital 
sentences of the Inquisition, prohibiting them to 
spare the life of any lapsed heretic, even on his con- 

He "does not exceed his powers" in forcibly de- 
priving heretics of their children in order that they 
may be brought up Catholics. 

He "does not exceed his powers" in releashi 
his pleasure from oaths of allegiance taken by a people 
to their government. 

He "does not exceed his powers" in absolving a 
sovereign from the treaties he has sworn to observe, or 
from his oath to the constitution of his country, or in 
giving full power to his confessor to absolve him from 
any oath he finds it inconvenient to keep. 

He " does not exceed his powers " when he assumes 
to dissolve the bond of marriage by declaring one of the 
parties to be excommunicated. 

The act of Pope Adrian IV., in delivering Ireland 
over to that subjection to the English crown from 
which it has never escaped, was within the power of 
the pope. 

And the act of St. Pius V., and of his successor 
Sextus V., which excommunicated Queen Elizabeth of 
England and invited her assassination, is justified by 


the Council as an act which it would be right to do 
again, under like circumstances.* 

* See Quirinus, pp. 634-653. Janus, p. 12. Bishop Dupan- 
loup, Appendix to Hyacinthe, vol. 2 ; with the references cited by 
each. All these, at the time of writing, were acknowledged Cath- 
olic writers. 




The outburst of war which followed immediately 
upon the promulgation of the new dogma, and drove 
the terrified pope and court of Rome to an immediate 
prorogation of the Council, was not altogether an un- 
toward c\cnt to the Romish church. It swept away 
indeed, williin nin< the temporal sovereignty of 

the pope, which might otherwise have lasted a few 
months or years Longer. But it served to distract the 
minds of men from reflecting upon the monstrous act 
that had just been performed, and so to delay a little, 
and perhaps to mitigate, the inevitable revulsion of 
thoughtful minds in the Roman-catholic church from 
the " sacrifice of the intellect " which was now demand- 
ed of them ;n the much-abused name of Christian faith. 
Weeks and months passed by, and the agitations of an 
unprecedented political crisis, continued to absorb the 
intellectual activity of the world. No very alarming 
sounds of protest seemed to be heard from any quar- 
ter, and the abettors of the plan for the definition of 
infallibility, if perchance they had had at first some 
misgivings at the results of the work of their own 
hands, plucked up courage again, and made themselves 
merry over the forebodings of those who had prophe- 
sied damage and loss to the church in consequence of 
the definition. 

All this time, however, the court of Rome was not 


When, in a political nominating convention, the 
more numerous of two factions has carried its point 
against the other by the use of expedients appropriate 
to that arena — the "previous question," the "suspen- 
sion of the two-thirds rule," etc. — and so has accom- 
plished by mere majority what, after all, it needs the 
"moral unanimity " of the party to make of any avail ; 
it becomes necessary, after the adjournment, to insti- 
tute measures for conciliating or whipping in the dis- 

The situation of the successful party in the Coun- 
cil w r as very like this. If the threats made in the 
speeches and protests of the minority, and still more 
vehemently in their private conversation,* to denounce 
the Council as "void of truth and liberty," and to 
refuse assent to its decrees on tins ground, f and on the 
ground that no conciliar definition could make that to 
be true which is not true J — should be carried out by 
any considerable number, all the cost and pains that 
had been spent in assembling the Council and in for- 
cing through it the great schema, would prove to have 
been worse than in vain. 

The appliances at hand for bringing refractory ec- 

* Iu pursuance of the plan of this book, to make no statement 
except on the authority of credible documents, we have refrained 
from the allegation of many facts which tend to discredit, even to 
a Eoman-catholic mind, the authority of the Council, but which 
are demonstrated only by private testimony. It is notorious, and 
the fact is proved by the concurrent testimony of many inde- 
pendent witnesses, that the bishops of the minoritj 7 were profuse 
iu denunciation of moral and physical constraint, intimidation, 
bribery, and corruption, which they declared to have been prac- 
tised or attempted by the court of liome in carrying through of its 
scheme. The statement in the text is justified by reference to 
Quirinus, and Ce qui se passe au Concile, passim. 

f See above, pp. 70, 81, 82. % See above, pp. 85, 138. 

Vi.tioan Council. 10 


clesiastics to terms of submission were not few. Some- 
times they were to be directly summoned to surren- 
der, under threat of deposition and excommunication. 
Sometimes the religious awe with which the authority 
of pope and council is regarded by sincere Roman- 
catholics might be trusted to work against t! 

oppression and outrage with which the dissentients 

had taken their leave* of Rome before the Council 
closed. Sometimes, doubtless, the consciousness that 
all hope of professional promotion was dependent on 
the good-will of that court of Rome which now de- 
manded the great act of submission mighl be counted 
on to torn the balance of some hesitating mind. But 
another process for enforcing absolute subservience to 
the central will had Long ago been prepared against 
just such emergencies, by which the court, without 
seeming to do anything at all, might in fact do i 
thing short of actual bodily compulsion. 

Among the enormous encroachments of the Roman 
see which in latter ages have swallowed up the last 
vestiges of the freedom of the bishops is that which is 
suggested by the phrase " quinquennial faculties." At 
the accession of each bishop to his office, papers are 
issued to him licensing him for five years from that 
date, and no longer, (unless the license be renewed for 
a like period,) to perform certain acts, without which it 
would be, in effect, impossible for him to continue the 
administration of his diocese. It is publicly and re- 
sponsibly charged, in Rome itself, before the very face 
of the pope's court, that the adhesion of the bishops of 
the minority was extorted from them under the pressure 
of the refusal otherwise to renew their "faculties."* 

* Letter to Mgr. Nardi, published in La Libertd, Rome, April 
14, 1871. "You think that the question of infallibility is closed 


By one influence or another it was brought about 
that many, in fact, nearly all, of the bishops who had 
protested most stoutly against the dogma as incredible 

by the adhesion of many of the opposition bishops. You are mis- 
taken. The Council not having been concluded with the definiens 
subscripsi of all the bishops, the opposition may at any time be 
renewed. And well it may be, considering that the adhesions have 
been obtained in a manner of which you are not ignorant, that is, 
by means of moral violence. I will mention one case, by way of 
example. As the last Lent approached, the opposition bishops 
applied, like the others, for the renewal of their 'faculties' — for 
the popes now hold all episcopal powers concentred in their own 
hands. Well, what was the answer? That if they wished the 
faculties, they should humble themselves at the feet of the holy 
father, that is, give in their adhesion to his infallibility and exclu- 
sive jurisdiction. Thus many adhered, in order to escape the 
vexation of the Curia, and to make it possible to carry on the 
spiritual government of their dioceses." The letter, though anony- 
mous, is known to have been written by an eminent priest of one 
of the religious orders in Rome. In his speech before the Old 
Catholic Congress at Munich, September, 1871, Father Hyacinthe 
describes with great power and pathos the various forms of "mor- 
al violence " brought to bear on the will and even on the conscience, 
of those who in their hearts disbelieved the infallibility^ dogma, to 
induce an outward act of submission. 

Among the "faculties" or licenses issued regularly by the 
pope to bishops, on their application, empowering them to exer- 
cise functions pertaining to their office, the most important are 
those which are always conferred for the term of five years, and are 
therefore called "the quinquennial faculties." When the person 
intrusted with them dies or is promoted during the term, the fac- 
ulties do not descend to his successor, but must be applied for 
anew. They are enumerated in twenty particulars ; but the most 
important may be summed up under these six heads : 

(1.) The power of absolving in cases usually reserved to the 
pope ; also from heresy, apostasy, schism, and even (in Protestant 
countries) from relapse. 

(2.) Permission to have and read (in order to confute them) 
heretical and other writings designated in the Index of Prohibited 
Books ; and to allow the reading of them, with the same purpose, 
(under a prohibition to circulate them,) to other learned and dis- 
creet men. 


and against the Council as being without liberty and 
therefore without authority, were induced, like the 
archbishop of St. Louis, to retract their words ; or 
else, like the bishop of Cleveland, quietly to retire from 
the administration of their dioceses. The first voice 
to break the silence was the same v >f one cry- 

ing in the wilderness, which had wakened the atten- 
tion of the whole world by a Protesi uttered from the 
silence of his Carmelite cell, one short year before. 
The following is 


Bona, absent in body, present in spirit) 
ristmaa, U 

WheH war broke out, like that thunderbolt which 
burst over the Vatican at the promulgation of the im- 
pious dogma, I hastened to write a brief protest. This 
duty fulfilled, I kept silence. I watched the sweeping 
off, as of the chaff which the wind driveth away, of 
those two absolutisms which, sometimes in mutual 

(3.) Permission to grant dispensations in case of certain im- 
pediments to marriage. 

(4.) Power' to absolve in case of secret crime, with the excep- 
tion of murder ; and to commute, or release from vows, duties of 
fasting, etc. 

(5.) Release from the obligation of certain of the more cum- 
brous formalities in conducting divine sen ice. 

(6.) The power of transferring these faculties to priests within 
the diocese. 

It is obvious that even those bishops who are not "remova- 
ble at the nod " of the pope, must nevertheless become quite help- 
less in their subserviency to him, as soon as their ' ' five-years' fac- 
ulties " expire. 

For a fuller account of the matter, see that standard Roman- 
catholic work, Wetzer und Welte's Kirchen-Lexikon, s. v. Fucul- 


league, sometimes in hostility, had so grievously op- 
pressed both the church and the world — the empire of 
the Napoleons and the temporal power of the popes. 
The abettors of the infallibility movement have not 
understood this religious silence to . which so many 
souls have restrained themselves, and which they above 
all others ought to have maintained ; pursuing that 
audacious policy which with one stroke has accom- 
plished both their triumph and their ruin, they busy 
themselves with noisy calculations upon the more or 
less prudent reserve of some, the more or less con- 
strained adherence of others. Such a misunderstand- 
ing cannot longer be kept up ; it would be wrong not 
to oppose what would otherwise result in establishing 
falsehood by prescriptive right. 

The political catastrophe which, especially for 
Frenchmen, might seem at first a reason for silence, 
becomes, if truly apprehended, an urgent motive for 
speaking and acting. I do not hesitate to say it, the 
question which at this very moment takes precedence 
of all others in France is the religious question. France 
cannot do without Christianity ; and yet she cannot 
accept Christianity under the forms of oppression and 
corruption with which it has been disguised. There- 
fore it is that she, even more than the Latin races in 
general, has been forced to live without religion, and 
consequently without moral power, between ultramon- 
tanism and infidelity, two foes of which she has taken 
but too slight account, and against whom she had need 
to fight not less, certainly, than against those who have 
invaded nothing but her soil. 

Suffer me, then, in the presence of the woes of my 
country and the woes of the church, to address the 
Catholic bishops of the whole world, and especially 


those of them who look ujjon the situation as I do 
myself, and who, to my own knowledge, arc not few. 
Who am I that I should speak to them so boldly? 
But the illustrious Gersoii lias not hesitated to declare 
that in times of crisis the humblest woman has the 
right to convoke the (Ecumenical Council and save the 
church universal. 1 assume this right ; I perform this 
duty ; I conjure the bishops to put an end to that la- 
tent schism which is separating as by chasms, the depth 
of which is the more fearful as it is more unperceived. 
Above all, we need to be told by them whether the 
decrees of the late Council are binding on our faith or 
no. In an assembly the primary conditions of which 

are absolute liberty of discussion and moral unanimity 

of suffrage, bishops, respectable by reason of their 
number ami by their eminence in learning and in 
character, openly and repeatedly complained of ;tll 
manner of restrictions put upon their liberty, and 
finally refused to take part in the vote. Is it possible 
that, returning to their dioceses, and waking as it were 
from a long dream, they have acquired the retrospec- 
tive certainty of having really enjoyed, while at Rome, 
that moral independence of which they were not con- 
scious at the time? The supposition is an insult. We 
are not dealing here with one of those mysteries that 
are above man's reason, but simply with a fact of con- 
sciousness. To change one's mind in a matter of this 
sort would not be to submit one's reason to authority ; 
it would be to sacrifice one's conscience. 

Now, if this be so, we are still tree, after, as before 
the Council, to reject the infalhbility of the pope, as a 
doctrine unknown to ecclesiastical antiquity and hav- 
ing its foundations only in apocryphal documents upon 
which criticism has pronounced beyond all appeal. 


We are^till free to say, openly, loyally, that we do 
not accept the late Encyclicals and the Syllabus, which 
their most intelligent defenders are constrained to in- 
terpret in opposition to their natural meaning, and to 
the known intent of their author, and the result of 
which, if they were to be taken in earnest, would be to 
establish a radical incompatibility between the duties 
of a faithful Catholic and those of an impartial scholar 
and a free citizen. 

Such are the most salient points at which the schism 
has been effected. It is the right of every Catholic 
who cares for the integrity and the dignity of his faith, 
of every priest who has at heart the loyalty of his min- 
istry, to interrogate the bishops on these points ; and 
it is their duty to answer without reservation and with- 
out subterfuge. Reservation and subterfuge — these 
have been our ruin. *It is high time to restore in our 
church the ancient sincerity in religion which has so 
decayed among us. 

But, mark it well, the facts and doctrines which I 
have pointed out are connected with a great system, 
and, to reach the details, the remedy must penetrate 
the whole. The question is aggravated by the very 
excesses of the ultramontanes, and from this time forth 
the issue is to be this : whether or not the nineteenth 
century is to have its Catholic Reformation, as the six- 
teenth had its Protestant Reformation. 

Look, O bishops', upon the bride of Jesus Christ, 
whom you also have espoused, the holy Church, pierced, 
like Him, with five wounds ! 

The first, the wound in the right hand — the hand 
which holds the light, is the hiding of the word of God. 
That sacred volume, opened over the world to enlight- 
en and to fructify, why has it been shut up again in the 


darkness of dead languages, and under then* ;il of the 
severest prohibitions? The bread of instruction and 
life which God had prepared as well for the poor as for 
the wise and learned, how has it been taken from them? 
It is vain to allege, l'<»r a pretext, the abuses of 1 
and unbelief. Put the Bible in its true relation with 
science, by an intelligent exegesis, and they will have 
nothing to fear from each other. Put it in its true re- 
lation with the people, by a religions education worthy 
of itself and of them, and the Bible will become the 
safest guide of the people's life — the healthiest inspi- 
ration of their worship. 

The wound in the other hand is the oppression of 
intellect and conscience by the abuse of hierarchical 
power. Of a truth, Jesus Christ said to his apostles : 
"Go, teach all nations;" but he said also to them : 
"The princes of the nations exercise dominion over 
them, but it shall not be so among you !" Successors 
of the apostles, make haste to unbind from our shoul- 
ders that burden which neither we nor our fathers liave 
been able to bear, and restore that light and easy yoke 
to which we are invited by the love of the Redeemer ! 

And what shall I say of the spear-wound in the 
heart P I must call it by its name, for they who most 
suffer from it are those who most shrink from speaking 
of it — it is the celibacy of the priests. I speak not of 
voluntary celibacy, the more pleasing to God as it is 
free and joyous, like the love that inspires it — the por- 
tion of a few souls, called to it and sustained in it by 
an exceptional grace. But when it is extended indis- 
criminately over natures the most unlike and the most 
unfit — when it is imposed as an irrevocable oath upon 
their inexperience and enthusiasm, celibacy becomes an 
institution without mercy, and too often without mo- 


rality. The nations who look upon it as the exclusive 
ideal of perfection, throw contempt on the sanctity of 
wedded life ; and, debasing the family in comparison 
with the cloister, they reduce the family to a mere ref- 
uge for vulgar, or, at best, for earthly souls. The do- 
mestic hearth ceases to be an altar ! 

But the last wounds of the church, that cripple 
her feet when she would rest upon the earth, are these: 
worldly policy and superstitious piety. A policy the 
church must have, for she stands in necessary relations 
with the powers of this world ; but that policy is most 
completely expressed in the words of the Master : "I, 
if I be lifted up above the earth, will draw all men 
unto me." Is this that policy of the temporal power 
and the secular arm which makes the possession of cer- 
tain provinces in Italy and certain privileges in Europe 
the essential condition o£ the empire of souls, the pivot 
of the whole spiritual structure ? A policy as fatal to 
the church and the world as that Revolution which it 
subserves even while it is contesting it ! A policy the 
impotent, blind persistency in which it is now desired 
to exalt to the dignity of a dogma ! And yet there is 
no lack of spiritual force in modern Catholicism. It 
counts its devout souls by thousands ; it sees the no- 
blest works and virtues nourishing within its pale. Why 
is this piety, so touching and so genuine, too often 
handed over to the seductions of a mysticism without 
depth, and an asceticism without austerity- — so differ- 
ent from those that shed grandeur on the early Chris- 
tian centuries ? External practices of devotion — mate- 
rial practices, I had almost said — are multiplied with- 
out limit ; the adoration of the saints, especially of the 
holy Virgin, are developed in proportions and under a 
character which are alien to genuine Catholic feeling ; 


mid that worship of the Father in spirit and in truth, 
which Jesus made the soul of his religion, is sensibly 
diminishing among us. 

Such is the body of Christ, in the state bo which 
our sins have brought it on the earth — sins of the 
priests, as much and more than those of the people. 
O bishops, will you have no pity on us V Will you not 
apply some efficacious remedy? " Is there no balm in 
( lilcad ? Is there no physician there ?" 

I pause. My heart is so burdened that I cannot go 
on. I know not what shall become of my poor word 
amid the shock of empires and the voice of blood going 
up from the field of carnage. But I know this : that, 
if it be not strong enough to speed the accomplish- 
ment of God's designs, it is faithful to declare them. 

And this, too, I know : that I do not separate my- 
self from the holy Catholic faith, nor from the church 
of my baptism and priesthood If her venerated chiefs 
shall heed my humble appeal, I shall resume at once, 
in obedience and in honor and loyalty, a ministry which 
has been the one passion of my youth, the one ambi- 
tion of my life, and which nothing but my conscience 
could haae forced me painfully to relinquish. If, on 
the contrary, they answer me only by their reprobation 
or their silence, I shall not suffer this to disturb me in 
my love for a church that is greater than those who 
govern it, stronger than those who defend it. Holding 
fast by the heritage left me by my fathers, and not to 
be rent from me by unjust and therefore invalid ex- 
communications, I shall devote to the preparation of 
the kingdom of God upon earth that free personal 
labor which is the common duty of all true Christians. 



From France, tossing in the agony of her terrible 
calamity, this touching appeal called forth no answer- 
ing voice. It may have seemed to the party of abso- 
lutism a mere cry of fruitless despair, the wail of a 
dying cause. For their heart seemed more fully set 
in them than ever to carry through their victory with 
a high hand. They proceeded to take rigorous meas- 
ures against the most illustrious of those scholars who, 
speaking in the name of theological science, had pro- 
nounced the doctrine of infallibility to be in contradic- 
tion to the facts of history, and the citations made in 
defence of it to be forgeries, interpolations, mutila- 
tions, and perversions. The venerable Dollinger was 
summoned by his archbishop to repudiate that which 
he solemnly believed to be the truth, and to enunciate 
that which he knew to be falsehood, under penalty of 
deposition and excommunication. The summons was 
answered on the 28th of March, 1871, by a memorial 
respectful in tone, but in its spirit a challenge to the 
hierarchs of the church to meet its scholars and doc- 
tors and disprove the indictment of fraud, falsehood, 
and oppression which he there put on record against 
them. • 

He declared himself ready to prove — 

First, that the texts of holy Scripture cited in de- 
fence of the decrees of the Council could not be so cited 
except in violation of the solemn oath, sworn by every 
priest, not to receive^ nor interpret the holy Scripture 
except in accordance with the unanimous consent of 
the fathers.* 

Secondly, that the assertion that the substance of 
the new decrees has been believed and taught in the 
church always and everywhere, or almost everywhere, 
* See above, p. 10G. 


rests on an entire misapprehension of tradition, and 
a perversion of history, and is in direct opposition to 
the clearest facts and testimoni 

Thirdly, that the bishops of the Latin countries, 
who constituted the immense majority of the Council, 
had been misled on the subject of the papal authority 
by the text-books used in their theological ^training ; 
the passages quoted in these books as proofs being 
false, forged, or garbled. 

Fourthly, that the new decrees are in direct contra- 
diction to decrees of former (Ecumenical Councils con- 
firmed by popes. 

Fifthly, that the new decrees are incompatible with 
the constitutions of the states of Europe, and espe- 
cially with that of Bavaria. 

This brave letter concluded with the following wi >r<ls : 

"Asa Christian, ax a theologian, as an historian, /n><l 
ax a citizen, I cannot accept this doctrine. 

"Not as a Christian; for it is irreconcilable with 
the spirit of the gospel, and with the clear declarations 
of Christ and the apostles. It seeks precisely to erect 
a ' kingdom of this world ' such as Christ repudiated — 
a ' lordship over the church ' such as Peter forbade to 
himself and to all. 

"Not as a theologian ; for it stands in irreconcila- 
ble contradiction to all the authentic tradition of the 

" Not as an historian ; for as such I know that the 
constant effort to realize this theory of universal em- 
pire has cost Europe rivers of blood, has devastated 
and degraded whole countries, has ruined the noble 
fabric of the constitution of the ancient church, and 
has engendered, aggrandized, and perpetuated in the 
church the most deplorable abuses. 


"Finally, as a citizen, I must reject this doctrine; 
because, by its pretension to bring states and mon- 
archs and the whole political order into subjection to 
the papal power, and by the exemptions from law which 
it claims for the clergy, it prepares the way for dis- 
cords infinitely mischievous between state and church, 
between clergy and laity. For I cannot hide from my- 
self that this doctrine, in consequence of which the 
ancient German empire was brought to ruin, if it 
should once become dominant in the Catholic part of 
the German nation, would implant also in the newly 
constituted empire the germs of an incurable dis- 

* I. von Db'llinger's Erklarung an den Erzbischof von Miinchen- 
Freising. Miinchen, 1871. Dr. Dollinger appends to this conclu- 
sion of his Declaration the following from the pope's official organ* 
the Civilta Cattolica, of March 18, 1871 : * ' The pope is the su- 
preme judge of the law of the land. In him, the two powers, the 
spiritual and the secular, meet as in their apex ; for he is the vice- 
gerent of Christ, who is not only a Priest for ever, but also King 
of kings and Lord of lords. . . . The pope, by virtue of his high 
dignity, is at the summit of both powers." This interpretation of 
the Vatican decrees will of course be repudiated by the Koinish 
clergy in America. But is it not authoritative ? Archbishop Man- 
ning, who claims to know the mind of the pope, although he may 
perhaps not equally apprehend the expediency of disguising it, 
presents a like statement. See above, in Abp. Kenrick's Speech, 
p. 129 and note. We have since found Archbishop Manning's 
utterance at Kensington, there quoted, given more at length, and 
the statement is so condensed, explicit, and authoritative, that it 
is worth repeating. He is speaking as in the name and person of 
the pontiff: 

"You say I have no authority over the Christian world, that I 
am not the vicar of the Good Shepherd, that I am not the supreme 
interpreter of the Christian faith. I am all these. You ask me to 
abdicate — to renounce my supreme authority. You tell me that 
I ought to submit to the civil power, that I am the subject of the 
king of Italy, and from him I am to receive instructions as to the 
way I should exercise the civil power. I say I am liberated from 


The exposure of the enormous Insolence and the 
greedy grasp of these papal pretensions began to tell, 
not-only upon the minds of scholars and of intelligent 
private Roman-catKolics, but upon practical states- 
men. It had been in vain that before and during the 
sitting of the Council, efforts had bees made fco com- 
bine the administrators of European goTernments in an 
effort to discourage the enactment of a dogma fraught 
with such political mischiefs. They were averse to any 

all civil subjection, Hint my Lord made me the subject of no one 
ill. king or otherwise ; thftt in His right I am sovereign. I 
acknowledge no civil superior, I am the subject of no prine 
I claim more than this — I claim to be the Supreme Judge and 
director of the consciences of men ; of the peasant that tills the 
field and the prinoe that sits ou the throne ; of the household that 
D tin- shade of privacy and the legislature that makes laws 
for kingdoms— I am the sole last Supreme Judge of what is right 
and wrong." 

The practical political bearing of this theory, now become the 
law of the church, may be illustrated by two tacts occurring in a 
single American diocese. 

In February, 1856, the Rt. Rev. Bishop of Toronto declared in 
a pastoral letter : ' ' Catholic electors in this country who do not 
use their electoral power in behalf of separate schools are guilty of 
mortal sin. Likewise parents not making the sacrifices necessary 
to secure such schools, or sending their children to mixed schools. 

' • Moreover, the confessor who should give absolution to such 
parents, elector*, or legislators as support mixed schools to the preju- 
dice of separate schools would be guilty of a mortal sin." 

Accordingly, on the 6th of July, 1856, this bishop excommuni- 
cated Messrs. Couchon, Cartier, Lemieux, and Drummond, mem- 
bers of the Canadian Parliament, for not voting straight in respect 
to education and legacies to priests. [Romanism as it Is, pp. 520, 
521, 586.] 

The influence of the hierarchy and the confessional on nomi- 
nations, elections, and legislation is generally a secret, even from 
many of the faithful, who stoutly and honestly declare that it 
does not exist. Ordinarily it is revealed to outsiders only by its 
effects, which are sometimes startling enough, as the history of 
New York eitv shows. 


interference with the mere enunciation of abstract 
propositions at a distance. But it could no longer be 
disguised that the question whether Caesar was to have 
the things that are Caesar's, was coming to a practical 
issue. The hierarchy of Germany, Jed by the arch- 
bishop of Munich, hastened to oppose the letter of Dr. 
Dollinger with two pastorals under their joint signa- 
tures, addressed, one to the clergy and the other to the 
laity, asserting the binding authority of the Vatican 
decrees, denouncing theological science in Germany 
as unfaithful to the church, and nervously denying that 
the Koman dogmas could be dangerous to civil govern- 
ments — the charge was "a calumny." But one thing 
was evident, alike from the attack and from the defence 
and disclaimer, to wit, that once more the hierarchy 
had waked up against itself an old antagonist within 
the church, which more than once before had encoun- 
tered its fiercest terrors without flinching, and put a 
barrier to its exorbitant pretensions. This antagonist 
was The Catholic Universities, 

The summary proceedings against the venerable 
Dollinger had the effect to -draw forth some indications 
of sympathy and cooperation from the insulted govern- 
ments, and to rally about him thoughtful, seholarlike, 
and courageous men, willing to share the persecution 
which might be inflicted on him for the declaration of 
facts which were as well known to themselves as to 
him. The answer to the bishops' pastorals, published 
in June, 1871, stood in the name, not of Dr. Dollinger 
alone, but of more than thirty persons, eminent in 
church or state, or in literature and science. It was as 
follows : 



In view of the administrative measures and the 
manifestoes of the German bishops in support of the 
decrees of the Vatican, the undersigned deem it neces- 
sary to set forth in the following declaration the prin- 
ciples on which they act, and so far as in them lies, to 
offer some relief for the burden which is lying on men's 

I. Faithful to the inviolable duty, incumbent on 
every Catholic Christian, of holding fast the ancient 
faith, and repelling every novelty, were it announced 
even by an angel from heaven — a duty not denied by 
the pope or the bishops — we persist in rejecting the 
dogmas of the Vatican. Never heretofore has it been 
a part of the doctrine of the church or of the Catholic 
faith, that every Christian should recognize in the pope 
an absolute master and sovereign to whom he is directly 
and immediately subject, and to whose envoys and leg- 
ates he owes unconditional obedience in everything 
touching religious faith and practical morality. It is 
likewise notorious that down to the present day, it has 
never been the teaching of the churcji that the gift of 
infalhbility has been granted to a man — that is, the 
X^ope for the time being — in the definitions which he 
addresses to the whole church on points of faith and 
on human rights and duties. On the contrary, these 
propositions, although in great favor at Rome and en- 
couraged by all the means at the disposal of a domi- 
nant power, have hitherto been nothing but scholastic 
opinions, which the most renowned theologians have 
been at liberty to attack and repudiate without exposing 
themselves to the slightest censure. It is notorious 


(and if the German bishops do not know this, they 
ought to know it) that these doctrines owe their origin 
to falsehood, and their diffusion to violence. These 
doctrines, in the form in which they have been pro- 
claimed by the pope in the Vatican decrees, strip the 
community of believers .of its essential rights, deprive 
its testimony of all value, destroy the authority of 
ecclesiastical tradition and the fundamental principles 
of the Catholic faith, according to which Christians are 
bound to believe nothing but what has been taught and 
believed always, everywhere, and by all : Quod ubique, 
quod semper, quod ah omnibus. Notwithstanding the 
late pastoral of the German bishops affirms that Peter 
has spoken by the mouth of the pope, proclaiming him- 
self infallible, we are bound to repel such a pretension 
as a blasphemy. Peter speaks to us, clearly and intel- 
ligibly to every one, in his acts and his speeches re- 
lated by the holy Scriptures, and in his epistles, which 
are addressed to us as well as to the first believers. 
These acts, speeches and epistles are animated by a 
totally different spirit, and contain a very different 
doctrine from that which it is now sought to impose 
upon us. The attempt has been made, it is true, to 
mitigate these new doctrines, which in their crudity 
and their incalculable sweep wound all the Christian 
feelings ; and it has been sought to persuade the peo- 
ple that they have always been believed, and that they 
cover no ensnaring consequences. ' Just as before, in 
other circumstances, so in the late pastoral, great pains 
have been taken to present the infallibility spoken of 
in the new decrees as a' prerogative pertaining to the 
whole magisterium of the church, composed of pope and 
bishops. But this interpretation is in contradiction to 
the clear and literal sense of these decrees, according 


to which the pope exclusively, and by himself alone, is 
infallible ; he it is to whom the assistance of the Holy 
Ghost is given, and who in his decisions remains com- 
pletely independent of the judgment of the bisho] 

that their assent to every papal decision wh; 

henceforth obligatory, and cannot be refused How- 
ever the German bishops may argue that the plenitude 
of power with which he is invested by the Vatican de- 
crees cannot be considered as a power unlimited and 
extending to everything, because the exercise of it is 
restrained by revealed doctrine and the divine consti- 
tution of the church, they might as well argue that 
unlimited and despotic power does n<>t exist anywhere 

in the world, even anion-" the Mohammedans, because 
the sultan and the shah of Persia themselves acknowl- 
edge that their power is limited by the law of (iod ami 
the dogmas of the Koran. By the new decrees tin- 
pope is not only invested with dominion over the whole 
field of morality, but he determines — still by himself 
alone, and with the authority of an infallible master — 
what does and what does not belong to this domain, 
what principles are ot divine obligation, and also what 
interpretation and application it is best to give to them 
in particular cases. In the exercise of this authority, 
the pope is not bound to receive any approval outside 
of himself ; he is accountable to no one on earth, and 
no one may oppose him. Every one, prince or peasant, 
bishop or layman, is obliged to submit without condi- 
tion, and obey without contradiction his every com- 
mand. If such a power cannot be called unlimited 
and despotic, there never has been unlimited and des- 
potic power in the world, and there never will be. 

II. "We persist in our profound conviction that the 
Vatican decrees constitute a serious peril to the state 


and to society ; that they are incompatible with the 
laws and institutions of modern states, and that in 
accepting them we should be entering into an irrecon- 
cilable conflict with our political duties and oaths. In 
vain do the bishops labor, whether by affecting to be 
ignorant of them, or by attempting to interpret them 
in their own fashion, to destroy the incontestable fact 
of the existence of bulls and pontifical decisions which 
subject all powers to the will of the apostolic see, and 
which condemn in the most absolute way the laws most 
indispensable to the existence of modern society. The 
bishops are perfectly well aware that, by virtue of the 
Vatican decrees, they have no right to restrict pontifi- 
cal decisions, whether old or recent, by artificial inter- 
pretations, and that the contradictory explanation of 
one solitary Jesuit will outweigh that of a hundred 
bishops. In this very matter, the interpretations of the 
German bishops are in opposition to those of other 
prelates, particularly those of the archbishop of West- 
minster, Manning, who gives to the papal infallibility 
the widest imaginable extent.* And consequently, not- 
withstanding the reproaches addressed to us by the 
bishops, Ave consider ourselves fully warranted in say- 
ing that an infallibility such as it is wished to ascribe 
to the pope, and to him alone, without the intervention 
of any other party, should be styled a personal infalli- 
bility. This expression is perfectly exact, and in ac- 
cordance with the usage of speech, in which we com- 
monly call that power personal which is possessed and 
exercised by a monarch independently of the other 
authorities of the state. Thus, too, an official preroga- 
tive is called personal when it is so strictly and insep- 
arably attached to a person that he can neither divest 
* See above, p. 229. 


himself of it nor delegate it to others. When we com- 
pare (which the German bishops have neglected to do) 
the condemnations pronounced in the Syllabus, (which 
has now become a decree invested with the papal infal- 
libility,) the solemn condemnation by the pope of the 

Austrian constitution, the simultaneous publicatio 

the Jesuits of Laach, Vienna, and Koine, who are niueli 

better informed than the German bishops on the inten- 
tions of the Roman Curia — when we compare all these 
with the Vatican decrees, we must be blind not to see 
an ably-concerted plan tor the universal monarchy of 
the popes. Our governments, our laws, and our politi- 
cal constitutions, everything pertaining to morality, the 
actions of each individual— everything, must hence- 
forth be submitted to the Roman Curia, its organs, and 
its legates, whether fixed or itinerant, whether bishops 
Or Jesuits. Sole legislator in matters of faith, disci- 
pline, and morals, supreme judge, sovereign, and irre- 
sponsible executioner of his own sentences, the pope, 
by virtue of the new doctrine, possesses such a pleni- 
tude of power, that the most ardent imagination can 
conceive of none greater. The Cerman bishops might 
well lay to heart the golden words pronounced at 
Munich by the Franciscan Occam in a situation analo- 
gous to our own : "If the bishop of Rome possessed a 
plenitude of power such as the popes falsely lay claim 
to, and such as many, through mistake, or in the spirit 
of adulation concede to them, all men would be slaves ; 
and this is plainly contrary to the liberty of the gospel 

III. We appeal to the testimony involuntarily borne 
by the German bishops themselves to the justice of our 
cause. If we openly and directly reject the new doc- 
trine which makes the pope universal bishop and abso- 


lute master of every Christian in the whole domain of 
morals — that is to say, of everything that one may or 
may not do — the bishops, for their part, prove, by the 
different and contradictory interpretations given in 
their pastoral letters, that they apprehend clearly 
enough the novel character of this doctrine, and the 
repugnance it excites, and they make it plain that, at 
the last analysis, they are ashamed of it themselves. 
Not a man of them has had the <?ourage to follow the 
example of Manning and the Jesuits, and give the Vat- 
ican decrees their simple and natural sense.* But they 
forget that if they were to apply to the other decrees 
on matters of faith efforts like those they employ in 
their pastorals in order to extenuate the meaning of 
those now in question, they would soon shake the solid- 
ity and unity of doctrine, and produce a general sense 
of insecurity and uncertainty throughout the whole do- 
main of faith. In fact, what would be left of certainty 
and assurance in the decisions of the church, old or 
new, if they were all to be treated in the method em- 
ployed by the late pastorals for the interpretation of 
the bull of Boniface VIII. , f and if people were to fall 
into as flat a contradiction as they have in the present 
case, with the literal sense of the decisions and their 
manifest intention? We deplore such a use of the 
teaching power of the bishops. Still more profoundly 
do we deplore that these bishops have not been ashamed, 
in a pastoral addressed to the Catholic laity, to respond 
to the outcry of the consciences of their people by in- 
sults to reason and learning. Truly, when we look 

[* So far as we are aware, this disposition to mince the matter 
is as prevalent among the American bishops as among the Ger- 
man. ] 

[f The bull Unam Sandam. See Abp. Kenrick, p. 125, above. ] 


back from these men who seem to know no higher duty 
than that of blind obedience, towards their venerable 
predecessors in the episcopate— like Cyprian, Athana- 
sius, and Augustine — we feel thai we have better excuse 
than ever St. Bernard had for letting slip that sorrow^ 
fal exclamation : Quia nobis dabti videre Ecdesiam sicut 
erat in diebus antiqx 

IV. We repel the threats of the bishops as being 
out of accordance with law, and their despotic measures 
as not being valid nor binding. In other times, through- 
out the whole church, the maxim amis held in 
respect, that whenever it was possible to show the time 
of the first appearance oi any doctrine, it was a sure 
proof that the doctrine was fa - pre- 

cisely the fact in the case of the new doctrine of papal 
infallibility. We can fix exactly tin- tfi appear- 

ance, the persons who conceived it, and the int • 
which it was made to subserve. In former times, when 
popes and bishops cut off from the communion of the 
church the authors and abettors of an anti-Catholic 
doctrine, they vindicated themselves mainly by the nov- 
elty of the doctrine, and its opposition to the old tra- 
ditionary faith ; and by this fact, so obvious and 
to be proved, that their opinion had not been thereto- 
fore received as part of the divine revelation, the ex- 
communicates might be convinced of the justice of the 
sentence pronounced against them by the church. Now, 
on the contrary, for the first time (no other example of 
it can be found in the course of eighteen centuries) 
excommunication is fulminated against men, not for 
maintaining and propagating a new doctrine, but be- 
cause they would preserve the ancient faith as they 

[* "Who will show us the church as it used to be in old 
times ?*'] 


have received it from their parents and their teachers 
in the school and in the church, and are not willing to 
accept a different doctrine, nor change their faith as 
they do their garments. It is the general teaching of 
the fathers of the church, that an unjust excommuni- 
cation does not harm him who suffers it, but only him 
who pronounces it ; and that, on the contrary, God 
turns into a source of grace the sufferings of those who 
are persecuted for righteousness' sake. We know that 
such condemnations are as invalid and destitute of 
binding force as they are unjust, and that consequently 
they cannot deprive believers of their right to the 
means of grace instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, 
nor take from priests the faculty of dispensing them. 
We are resolved, therefore, that we will not suffer our- 
selves to be robbed of our rights by censures inflicted 
in the interest of false doctrines. 

V. We live in the hope that the conflict which has 
broken out shall be, under the direction of Providence, 
a means of realizing the reformation so long desired, 
and now become inevitable, in ecclesiastical affairs, 
both in the constitution and in the life of the church. 
As we look towards the future we are cheered and 
comforted amid the bitter trials of the present confu- 
sion. If at present we meet, in all parts of the church, 
abuses without measure, which, fortified and put be- 
yond the reach of cure by the triumph of the Vatican 
dogmas, might grow in time to such dimensions as to 
choke all Christian life — if we perceive with grief the 
tendency towards a centralization which paralyzes the 
mind, and towards a mechanical uniformity — if we 
consider the ever-growing incapacity of the hierarchy, 
which knows nothing else to do but to oppose the im- 
mense intellectual movement of the present age with 


conventional phrases and impotent imprecations — on 
the other hand our courage revives at the remembrance 
of better times, and we put our trust in the divine 
Ruler of the church. Looking to the past as well as 
to the future, we see before us the vision of the regen- 
erated church restored to its true ideal to that condi- 
tion in which every civilized people of the Catholic 
communion, without prejudice to its union with the 
universal ehurch, but liberated front the yoke of arbi- 
trary domination, shall order and pel-feet its own eccle- 
siastical constitution in accordance with its own charac- 
ter, and in harmony with its peculiar mission of civili- 
zation, through the agreement and mutual cooperation 
of clergy and laity ; and in which all Catholic Christen- 
dom shall be placed under the direction of a primacy 
and an episcopacy which, through their learning and 

the active part which they shall take in the public life 
of the people, shall gain the knowledge and capacity 
needful to reconquer for the church and permanently 
to secure for her the only place worthy of her — the 
place she ought to hold at the head of universal civili- 
zation. By this course, and not by the decrees of the 
Vatican, shall we make progress towards the supreme 
end assigned to Christian development, that is, the re- 
union of the other Christian communions now separa- 
ted from us — a union desired and promised by the 
Founder of the church, and longed-for and demanded 
with an ever-increasing ardor by numberless Christian 
believers, both in Germany and elsewhere. May God 
grant it to us !* 

* Not having the original of this document at hand, we have 
translated from the authorized French version published in con- 
nection with the manifesto of Father Hyacinthe, " Ma foi el ma 
conscience," bv Dentu, Paris. 


The combat entered upon in such sober earnest 
could not but grow more and more active, and by its 
relation to material and secular interests compel the 
attention of the civil government, and of that part of 
the public to whom its merely religious aspect had no 
interest. One of the earliest documents of the contro- 
versy was the work of Professor Yon Schulte of Prague, 
one of the first scholars in Europe in Canon Law — a 
work which deals specially with the relations of the 
irreparably divided Catholic church of Germany to the 
state and to the church property, claiming that the 
Old Catholics, as the anti-infallibilist party began to be 
called, were the true representatives of that institu- 
tion which the state had recognized as its established 
church, and the successors to its "good will" and 

In presence of a revolt so resolute and serious, 
Rome could not but anathematize and excommunicate. 
Her imprecations fell like hail upon the ranks of the 
Old Catholic party. Priests were suspended or de- 
posed, schoolmasters were removed from office, profes- 

* A brief notice is given in The Nation of November 2, 1871, of 
an article in the Ilistorische Zeitschrift, probably from the distin- 
guished pen of the editor, Von Sybel, which " discusses the Vati- 
can Council from the point of view in general of Dollinger and the 
anti-infallibilists. After a sketch of the history of the Council 
and of the dogma of infallibility — in which the striking point is 
made that this was the first Council in which only ecclesiastics 
sat, and, since the theologians were excluded, only the higher cler- 
gy- -the writer proceeds to speak of the future. He shows that the 
treaty which has heretofore existed between church and state 
assumes the Confession of Trent as its basis. If the church dis- 
cards this traditional character, and its relation to the state and to 
other confessions is essentially altered, the contract is virtually 
broken, and the other party is freed from all its obligations. It is 
for Germany to say, then, whether the primacy of Rome is any 
long'er to be acknowledged." 

Vatican Council. \\ 


sors were stigmatized as heretical, ami students warned 
against their teachings. Every combination of influ- 
ences was brought to bear to make sympathy with the 
obnoxious party costly ami dangerous >r the 

priest, it is poverty, dishonor under the ban of interdict 

and the thunderbolt of anathema, the loss of this min- 
istry of the altar and of souls to which in youth he so 
joyously offered himself a sacriiice. For the layman it 
is injury in the good name and estate which are not 
merely his, but which he holds jointly with his wife 
and as a trust for his children. If he is an officeholder, 
he compromises his promotion under an ultramontane 
administration. If he ifl a representative, he hazards 
his election ; a physician or lawyer, his practi< 
merchant, his business connection: a citizen in any 
relation, his consideration with a great number of his 
fellow-citizens. Must I mention, in conclusion, one 
thing more painful still? — he hazards the peace of his 
Jireside and the sanctity of his shroud and bier!"* 

In the great Eoman-catholic state of Bavaria, and 
elsewhere in Germany, the governments refused to sus- 
tain the sentences of the hierarchy. Deposed ecclesi- 
astics, like Friedrich and Dollinger, continued to be 
recognized as holding their former offices, or, as a more 
emphatic rebuke to the bishops, were advanced in dig- 
nity. And while schoolmasters, thrust from their em- 
ployment for refusing submission to the new dogma, 
were restored and protected by the state, those bishops 
who had hastened to promulgate the Vatican decrees 
without the consent of the government, were sharply 
admonished that they had rendered themselves liable 
to pains and penalties for violation of public law. Thus 

* Speech of Father Hyacinthe at the Old Catholic Conference, 
Munich, September 23, 1871. 


Peter once more found that lie who takes the secular 
sword may perish by the sword. 

But a far more important matter than the attitude 
of the governments was the attitude of the peoples. 
And this was not slow in being manifested. Addresses 
of sympathy flowed in from every quarter to the men 
who were recognized as the leaders of the movement. 
To one of these were attached no less than twelve 
thousand signatures. And it was a notable thing to 
what a great extent these signatures represented, not 
in all cases the nobility or the wealth of the continent, 
but its thoughtfulness and learning. The new growth 
had struck deep root in the universities. As if to em- 
phasize the distinctive character of the struggle as an 
antagonism between ignorant devotion and enlightened 
faith, the bishops attempted to offset the moral effect 
of the multitudes of the Old Catholic addresses and 
popular assemblies, by gathering mass-meetings, which 
were made up in large proportion of that ignorant 
peasantry on whom the grasp of a priesthood is always 
found to be strongest. 

The growing movement necessitated a general con- 
ference for consultation ; and the assembling of such 
a body at Munich in September, 1871, marks the close 
of the brief but momentous first chapter of the yet 
unwritten and unenacted history of the Old Catholic 
church after its disruption from the Vatican or Neo- 
Catholic church. 

Of this meeting, it is sufficient that we record the 
document which, after long and serious debate, was 
finally adopted as a 



1. A proper sense of our religious duties compels 
OS to cling to the Old Catholic tftith as laid down in 
Holy Writ and tradition, and to the Old Catholic forms 
of divine service. We therefore regard ourselves as 
legitimate members of the Catholic church, and will 
not be expelled from that church, nor do we renounce 
any of the civil or ecclesiastical rights belonging to it. 

As to the ecclesiastical penalties to which we have 

been subjected for adhering to the old faith, we declare 
them arbitrary and absurd; and shall not thereby be 
prevented from acknowledging ourselves and acting as 
true and Conscientious sons of the church. Taking our 
stand upon the creed contained in the Symbol of Trent, 
we reject the dogmas proclaimed under the pontificate 
of Pio Nono as contrary to the doctrine of the church 
and to the principles which have prevailed since the 
first Council was assembled by the apostles ; we more 
especially reject the dogma of infallibility and of the 
supreme, immediate, and ever- enduring jurisdiction of 
the pope. 

2. We adhere to the old constitution of the church. 
We repudiate every attempt to restrict the right of the 
individual bishops to direct the religious concerns of 
their respective dioceses. We repudiate the doctrine 
contained in the Vatican decrees, that the poj)e is the 
only divinely-appointed exponent of ecclesiastical au- 
thority, such doctrine being at variance with the Canon 
of Trent, which teaches that the hierarchy consists of 
bishops, priests, and deacons, and that this hierarchy 
is instituted by God. We acknowledge the primacy of 
the Koman bishops as it has been acknowledged in 


accordance with the testimony of Holy Writ, and by 
the testimony of the fathers and councils of the old 
undivided Christian church. "We furthermore declare : 
(a.) That more is required to define dogmas than 
the dictum of some temporary pope, backed by the 
consent, tacit or expressed, of the bishops, who have 
taken the oath of inviolable obedience to their primate. 
A dogma to be valid must be in accordance with Holy 
Writ and the old traditions of the church, such as they 
have been conveyed to us in the writings of the recog- 
nized fathers and decrees of the councils. Even an 
oecumenical council, though it were- really oecumenical 
and possessed the formal qualifications which the late 
Vatican Council lacked, would not be entitled to enact 
decrees in opposition to the fundamental truths and 
the past history of the church ; nor would such illegal 
decrees be binding upon the members of the church, 
even though they had been passed unanimously. And 
we declare : 

(b. ) That the dogmatic decisions of a council must 
be in conformity with the religious belief of the Catho- 
lic people ; that they must agree with Catholic science 
and the original and traditional faith of the church. 
We reserve to the Catholic clergy and laity, as well as 
to theological scholars, the right to pronounce an opin- 
ion upon and protest against new dogmas. 

3. Availing ourselves of the assistance of theologi- 
cal and canonical science, we aim at a reform of the 
church, which, in the spirit of the ancient church, is to 
do away with the abuses and short-comings now pre- 
vailing, and satisfy the legitimate wishes of the Catho- 
lic people for a regular and constitutional share in the 
direction of ecclesiastical affairs. 

We maintain that the reproach of Jansenism is 


unjustly cast upon the church of Utrecht, and that, 
accordingly, there is no difference of dogma between 
ourselves and that church. 

We hope for reunion with the Greek, Oriental, and 
Russian churches, the separation of which from the 
Catholic church arose without any cogent reason, and 
is prolonged without there being any incompatibilities 
in dogma between us and them. 

If these reforms arc carried out, and the road of 
science and progressive Christian culture is steadily 
pursued, we expect that the time will come when an 
understanding will be effected with the various Protes- 
tant churches, as well as with tlic Episcopal churches 
of England and America. 

4. In educating the Catholic clergy, we deem it in- 
dispensable that they should be introduced to the study 
of theological science. Considering that the clergy 
exercise a great influence upon the intellectual condi- 
tion of the people, and that we all are alike interested 
in possessing a pious, moral, intelligent, and patriotic 
clergy, we deem it dangerous that candidates for cler- 
ical honors should be brought up in a state of artificial 
seclusion from the culture of the age, as is now the 
case in the seminaries and other similar institutions 
directed by the bishops. "We demand aTlignified posi- 
tion and protection from hierarchical tyranny for the 
members of the lower clergy. We deprecate the prac- 
tice recently adopted by the bishops, in imitation of 
the French law, of arbitrarily removing clergymen from 
one parish to another ; (amovibilitas ad nutum.) 

5. We are faithful to the political constitutions of 
our various states, because they guarantee civil liberty 
and the advance of the humanizing culture of man- 
kind. We therefore reject, from motives alike con- 


nected with the politics of the day and the history of 
civilization, the treasonable doctrine of papal suprem- 
acy, and promise to stand by our respective govern- 
ments in their struggle against ultramontane principles 
as reduced to dogma in the Syllabus. 

6. As the present disastrous division in the Catho- 
lic church has been notoriously brought about by the 
so-called Society of Jesus ; as this order is, moreover, 
abusing its power, infecting the hierarchy, the clergy, 
and the people with tendencies hostile to culture, or- 
derly government, and national progress ; and as this 
order teaches and inculcates a false and corrupt system 
of morals ; we express our conviction thai peace and 
prosperity, concord in the church, and the establish- 
ment of proper relations between church and society 
will be possible only after the injurious action of this 
order has been arrested. 

7. As members of that Catholic church which can- 
not be altered by the late decrees of the Vatican, and 
which has had its existence guaranteed and protected 
by the various states, we maintain a right to the secu- 
lar property of the church. 

8. Bearing in mind that in the programme drawn 
up at Munich last Whitsuntide* we have already re- 
served our right, in the anomalous condition in which 
we are placed, to have the ceremonies of the church 
performed by priests under ecclesiastical censure ; that 
in the same programme some of those priests have 
declared their willingness to perform those functions ; 
that we are justified, by necessity, in thus going back 
to the apostolical times, when there were no distinct 
parishes ; that the having recourse to such priestly 
action is dependent on local circumstances and indi- 

* See above, pp. 232-240. 


victual wants; that until such changes in the law can 
be effected as will satisfy these wants, Catholics adher- 
ing to the old faith of their church cannot be left with- 
out the legal benefit of certain ecclesiastical acts, the 
Catholic Congress resolves : 

(a.) That in all places where the want is felt, I •■ 
lar parish priests shall be appointed, the question 
whether there is a want being left to the decision of the 
local committees. 

(b.) We claim to have our priests recognized by the 
secular authorities as entitled to perform those 
gious functions on which civil rights are based, in 
accordance "with the existing legislation of many states, 

(c.) The various governments arc to be petitioned 
to accord us these rights. 

(<].) Having been placed in the condition in which 
we find ourselves, every Old Catholic is entitled to ask 
foreign bishops to perform the said functions for liini ; 
and when the right moment has come, we shall be jus- 
tified in procuring a regular episcopal jurisdiction. 

The paragraph of the foregoing paper most signifi- 
cant of immediate results, is the last, or eighth. It 
formed no part of the original draft brought before the 
conference by a committee of five great Catholic schol- 
ars, led by Dollinger. The thought of the decisive 
and almost irrevocable organic separation from that 
vast corporation which they had all their lives been 
wont to identify with the kingdom of God on earth, 
was utterly distressing to them ; and when the addi- 
tion was moved, they opposed it with all their might. 
Argument and persuasion might have failed to change 
their determination. But what these could not have 
done was wrought bv the malice of their enemies, blind- 


ly working out the plans of God's providence. Eighty 
parishes, which very early in the history of the contro- 
versy had declared their adhesion to the party of lib- 
erty, were lying under interdict ; the dead were refused 
Christian burial, and there were none to solemnize the 
rites of baptism and marriage. There was no alterna- 

From the beginning, this work had marched on to 
this point under the guidance of no human forethought, 
its most active promoters seeming bound by a power 
that carried them whither they would not. Its chief 
human promoters have been, in fact, its enemies, 
"howbeit they thought not so." The history of its 
brief past helps us indistinctly to forecast its future, 
and to prophesy that the main interest of the Pro- 
gramme, which proposes to limit this new growth of 
religious thought by the Canons of Trent, will be 
mainly interesting to the future historian as an his- 
toric landmark from which to measure its advancement. 

Thus, briefly, ki a single one of its aspects, have we 
traced the history of two of the most momentous years 
in ecclesiastical history. And if our hearts and sym- 
pathies have constantly been with those who in the 
great pending struggle have been the champions of 
personal and national and ecclesiastical liberty, and of 
scriptural and historical truth, we would not do injus- 
tice to those on the other side who may have been 
fighting for conscience' sake. It is possible for us to 
recognize the fact which they behold so clearly, but 
which, with happy inconsistency, the "Liberal Catho- 
lic " is unable to perceive — that despotism, spiritual 
and secular, and falsehood to science and to history, 
arc the logical result of the premises with which they 


start. We cannot refuse our respect to a certain moral 
dignity in the course of those whose steady advocacy 
of the fatal dogmas was not actuated by the spirit of 
faction nor by the solicitation and corruption of the 
Roman court, but by a steadfast fidelity to those; 
wretched principles which find their logical fulfilment 
only in just such conclusions. There is something to 
admire in the unmoved resolution with which, under 
such convictions, they went forward, in the face of 
signs of coming disaster that even a child could read. 
to enunciate and promulgate the blasphemous dogma 
which they were warned would revolt the intellect and 
conscience of even Roman-catholic Christendom. 

The only parties in the business towards whom it is 
impossible even for charity to find some feeling of re- 
spect, are the corrupt abettors of the dogma; and 
those of its opposers who, having known and declared 
it to be a falsehood, nevertheless proclaim their sub- 
mission to it, and under the threat of Rome consent to 
lend their active aid to enforce upon other men this 
"strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.'' 




MAY 27 1985 

REL - 

MAY 9 1360 







R 17 1946 






5^S ft 


LD 21-100m-8, , 34